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Rock FM is an Independent Local Radio station broadcasting to Lancashire, North West England and some parts of North Wales. Its output is mainly contemporary pop and current chart hits. The station is owned & operated by Bauer Radio and forms part of the Hits Radio network.
|Branding||YOUR Rock FM|
|Slogan||The Biggest Hits, The Biggest Throwbacks|
|Frequency||FM: 97.4 MHz|
RDS: ROCK FM
|First air date||5 October 1982|
|Sister stations||Greatest Hits Radio Lancashire|
|Webcast||Rock FM - Radio Player|
As of February 2020, the station broadcasts from studios outside its broadcast area at Bauer's Manchester headquarters.
In 1990, Red Rose Radio, which was transmitted on 97.4 MHz and 999 kHz, was split into two stations - Red Rose Rock FM using the FM frequency and Red Rose Gold on the medium wave frequency. Rock FM was given its name as the station was initially going to be based in Blackpool, Lancashire. However the agreement for the studio premises subsequently fell through and the station remained in Preston.
The managing director was Dave Lincoln, with Mark Matthews as programme director, and at that time the station was owned by the Miss World Group, later known as TransWorld Communications (owned by Owen Oyston) and which subsequently became part of Bauer Radio (previously EMAP Radio).
The total survey area of the station for RAJAR is broadly defined as western, southern and central Lancashire including parts of Greater Manchester and Merseyside, but the station is audible on FM from Cumbria down into Wales and towards The West Midlands.
For over thirty years, Rock FM was based at studios in a converted church (St. Paul's) in Preston. The station consistently rates as the number one commercial radio station in its target service area by reach, share and hours. Over a quarter of all adults in its market listen every week.
In January 2020, Bauer announced Rock FM would cease broadcasting from its Preston studios and co-locate with Hits Radio at Bauer's Northern headquarters in Manchester the following month. The station retains local news, advertising and charity staff at offices elsewhere in the city.
Rock FM broadcasts local news bulletins hourly from 6am-7pm on weekdays, from 7am-1pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Headlines are broadcast on the half hour during weekday breakfast and drivetime shows, alongside traffic bulletins.
- Bauer moves Rock FM programming to Manchester, RadioToday, 27 January 2020
- Rock FM - Public File
- Hits Radio Network stations drop local weekend programmes, Radio Today, 30 May 2019
- Bauer to network drivetime across 11 licences in North and Midlands, Radio Today, 5 August 2019