BBC Hereford & Worcester
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BBC Hereford and Worcester is the BBC Local Radio service for the English counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. It broadcasts from its studios in both Worcester and Hereford on 104 (Worcester), 104.4 (Redditch) 104.6 (Kidderminster) and 94.7 (Hereford) FM; as well as 738 (Worcester) and 1584 (North Herefordshire) AM, Freeview 720, online plus DAB Digital Radio. Although the administrative county of Hereford and Worcester was abolished in 1998, the name of the station was not altered to reflect this.
|Broadcast area||Herefordshire and Worcestershire|
|Frequency||DAB, Freeview 720|
|First air date||14 February 1989|
|Format||Local news, talk and music|
|Owner||BBC Local Radio,|
It serves the rural communities across Herefordshire as well as the more populous Worcestershire with a range of programmes from news, sport, consumer, arts, religion, gardening, jazz, funk, northern soul and local music.
The station began broadcasting on 14 February 1989 (St Valentine's Day), and to mark the unusual, two-centre set-up for the radio station, the first record played was the song Two Hearts by Phil Collins. The original team of presenters included Graham Day (mid-morning), Gill Capewell (afternoons) and Allan Lee (drive). Other staff included Robert Piggott (now BBC Religious Affairs correspondent), TV journalist Liz MacKean and former LBC presenter Jeremy Dry.
When the station first began, Jane Garvey (of Radio Five Live) was one of the team of journalists. A few months later, she took over the Breakfast Show and went on to win a Sony Award with it.
BBC Hereford and Worcester still transmits on both AM and FM. The original, and two strongest FM transmitters are on 104 FM (Great Malvern, serving Worcestershire) and 94.7 FM (Ridge Hill, between Ross On Wye and Ledbury near Much Marcle, serving Herefordshire), These signals are not particularly powerful, and have limited coverage outside the two counties, unlike stations such as BBC WM. An additional FM transmitter on 104.6 has improved coverage in the Kidderminster area & in February 2006, a new transmitter was turned on for Redditch (Headless Cross) on 104.4FM, as reception in the town had been unreliable.
The main AM transmitter on 738 kHz is on the western edge of Worcester and covers most of the two counties. Originally, there was another AM transmitter for Hereford on 819 kHz. That frequency was given up to accommodate a new commercial station for South Shropshire. However, due to adjacent channel problems with 828 kHz from BBC WM, 855 kHz was used for that licence. There is a more recent addition to AM, a small transmitter on 1584 kHz at Woofferton, just south of Ludlow on the A49. Although they have weaker FM signals compared to other BBC local radio transmitters, the 94.7FM signal can be heard clearly in the north of Bristol and even in Weston-super-Mare, as well as along the M4 from the Severn Bridge to Cardiff. The 738MW signal can also be heard in the north of Bristol. The station started broadcasting on DAB in 2013 with the new MuxCo Herefordshire and Worcestershire multiplex at the Bromsgrove, Ridge Hill and Malvern transmitter sites.
The majority of the station's programming is produced and broadcast from the Hereford and Worcester studios. During off-peak hours, BBC Hereford and Worcester also carries regional programming for the Midlands, produced from sister stations BBC WM and BBC Radio Shropshire. During the station's downtime, BBC Hereford and Worcester simulcasts BBC Radio 5 Live overnight.