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Radio City (Liverpool)

Coordinates: 53°24′22″N 2°58′55″W / 53.4062°N 2.9819°W / 53.4062; -2.9819

Radio City
Radio City logo 2015.png
CityLiverpool
Broadcast areaMerseyside and Cheshire
Slogan“The Biggest Hits, The Biggest Throwbacks”
FrequencyFM: 96.7 MHz
DAB: 11B
First air date21 October 1974
FormatCHR/Pop
OwnerBauer Radio
Sister stationsGreatest Hits Radio
Radio City Talk
WebcastRadio City Player
WebsiteRadio City

Radio City (previously known as 96.7 City FM and 194 Radio City) is a British Independent Local Radio station, based in Liverpool, and serving Merseyside, Cheshire and parts of North Wales. The station is owned & operated by Bauer Radio and forms part of the Hits Radio Network.

HistoryEdit

 
Radio City studios tower by night
 
Radio City logo used from 2004 to 2015.

After the introduction of the Sound Broadcasting Act in 1972 which allowed the legal operation of commercial radio in the UK, in 1974, Radio City (Sound of Merseyside) Ltd won the contract to broadcast the Independent Local Radio station for Liverpool and its surrounding areas, with studios originally based in Stanley Street in Liverpool City Centre.

194 Radio City began broadcasting at 5:58 am on 21 October 1974, with an announcement by its founding managing director Terry Smith (It's two minutes to six on Monday October 21st 1974. For the very first time, this is 194 Radio City broadcasting to Merseyside).[1] The first song to be played on the station was Stevie Wonder's "You Are the Sunshine of My Life". As reflected in the name, the station originally broadcast on 1548 kHz AM, then known as 194 metres medium wave, from a transmitter at Rainford. The station was also given an FM frequency of 96.7 MHz, but did not begin broadcasting on FM until a few months later, after the transmitter was vandalised. In the early days of Marcher Sound, the evening programmes of the station were simulcasted to the fledgling station, so for a period in the 1980s, Radio City had in theory, four frequencies (Marcher Sound aired on 95.4 MHz and 1260 kHz).

In 1989, the Conservative government enforced new regulation to enable better choice by ceasing the simulcasting of radio stations on both AM and FM. Radio City split its frequencies by continuing its top 40 format on FM under the recently introduced new name City FM. On AM, a new talk station was launched called City Talk 1548 AM.[2] This was unusual as most stations launched 'golden oldie' stations on their former AM frequencies. The City Talk experiment proved short-lived and Radio City Gold launched in its place in 1991, later known as City Gold. The AM service rebranded as Magic 1548 on Monday 17 March 1997.[3]

In 1998, the company was bought out by EMAP Radio (now Bauer Radio), who renamed the main FM station back to a modern version of its original name, as Radio City 96.7, the name it still uses currently. Two years later, the station left its original Stanley Street base and on Tuesday 18 July 2000, Radio City began broadcasting from St. John's Beacon, which in the past was a revolving restaurant and viewing platform.

The City Talk format was revived when, on 9 November 2006, it was announced by Ofcom that Radio City had beaten competition from rival broadcasters to win a new FM licence for a talk station for the Liverpool area. The new City Talk launched on 28 January 2008 and broadcasts on 105.9 FM.[4] Due to poor listening figures, the station has since dropped most of its presenters and had a format change which means, outside of peak listening hours like breakfast and drivetime, the station now broadcasts a mix of classic hit music similar to the music played on sister station Magic 1548, although under the format change the station is not allowed to simulcast with Magic, only Radio City.[5]

In September 2014, Bauer announced it would extend the Radio City brand by reviving the name on Magic 1548 as Greatest Hits Liverpool and launching a new localised version of DAB station The Hits Radio, known as Radio City 3. The rebrand took place on 5 January 2015, with Radio City 3 due to launch on 19 January 2015.[6] Radio City Talk was not affected.

This decision was later repealed in September 2017, when the Bauer City 3 branding was withdrawn in favour of The Hits across all Bauer City stations.

TransmissionEdit

The 96.7 FM signal comes from the Allerton Park transmitter in south-east Liverpool, which also transmits BBC Radio Merseyside on 95.8 FM. There is also a transmitter in the Mersey (Queensway) Tunnel. There are also DAB digital radio transmitters at St John's Beacon, Billinge Hill (in St Helens, which also carries Wish FM), and Hope Mountain (near Wrexham). The Billinge Hill site has the strongest digital signal. Greatest Hits Radio broadcasts on Radio City's original AM frequency from a transmitter at the former Bebington/Bromborough Power Station site.

Programming and presentersEdit

All networked programming originates from Hits Radio's Manchester headquarters.[7][8]

Local programming consists of weekday breakfast from 6-10am and weekend afternoons from 12-4pm which are produced and broadcast from Radio City's Liverpool studios.[9]

News and SportEdit

Radio City broadcasts local news bulletins hourly from 6-7pm on weekdays, and from 7am-1pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Headlines are broadcast on the half hour during weekday breakfast and drivetime shows, alongside traffic bulletins.

National bulletins from Sky News Radio are carried overnight with bespoke networked bulletins on weekend afternoons, usually originating from Radio Aire's Leeds newsroom.

Radio City also airs sports programming, focusing largely on Liverpool FC and Everton FC. Until the end of the 2014-15 season, the station aired live match commentaries of both clubs.[10]

The station now airs a twice-weekly Legends phone-in on Monday and Thursday evenings during the football season, hosted by John Aldridge and Graeme Sharp.[11]

Notable past presentersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.nige-194radiocity.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Advert showing the new names and frequencies of City FM and City Talk in 1989". The Brian Jones Radio City Tribute Website. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  3. ^ Brian Jones (22 November 2014). "194 RADIO CITY the final moments of Radio City AM" – via YouTube.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 12 November 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Ofcom lets Bauer put music on its Liverpool all-talk station, guardian.co.uk, 12 May 2009
  6. ^ "All Bauer Place radio stations to get new logos – RadioToday".
  7. ^ Hits Radio Network stations drop local weekend programmes, Radio Today, 30 May 2019
  8. ^ Bauer to network drivetime across 11 licences in North and Midlands, Radio Today, 5 August 2019
  9. ^ Radio City - Public File
  10. ^ Radio City to cut back football commentaries, Radio Today, 22 July 2015
  11. ^ New football legends phone-in for Radio City, Radio Today, 6 August 2015

External linksEdit