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TFM (radio station)

TFM is a local radio station owned and operated by Bauer Radio as part of the Hits Radio network. It broadcasts to County Durham and North Yorkshire from studios in Newcastle upon Tyne.

TFM logo 2015.png
Broadcast areaCounty Durham
North Yorkshire
Branding“The Biggest Hits, The Biggest Throwbacks”
FrequencyFM: 96.6 MHz
DAB: 11B
First air date24 June 1975
OwnerBauer Radio
Sister stationsGreatest Hits Radio

The station currently broadcasts on 96.6 FM, DAB and online with DAB services provided by Bauer Digital. In April 2013, the station was merged with Metro Radio in Newcastle.[1]


TFM logo used from 2013 to 2015.

From the start of broadcasting in 1975, TFM (then known as Radio Tees) was owned by Sound Broadcasting (Teesside) Ltd and originally broadcast on 257 Medium Wave only, with a later launch on 95 VHF. After a government radio frequency re shuffle in the mid-1980s, the FM frequency was swapped with BBC Radio Cleveland and Radio Tees shifted to 96.6 FM in 1986. In 1988 Radio Tees was relaunched as TFM 96.6 after being taken over by Newcastle upon Tyne based Metro Radio Group. Shortly after this, a new Medium Wave station called Great North Radio (GNR) was launched after broadcasting rules meant TFM could not broadcast on both FM and Medium Wave.

In the late 1990s, TFM was taken over by EMAP along with the rest of the Metro Radio Group stations and integrated into EMAP's Big City Group. Shortly after this the station was re branded 96.6 TFM. In July 2007, TFM was rebranded TFM Radio and re adopted the slogan Today's Favourite Music which had first been used in the late 1990s.

In 2008, EMAP, a publicly listed company, was then bought by Bauer Media, a privately owned German based family business, the radio group was renamed Bauer Place.

Merger with Metro RadioEdit

As of Monday 8 April 2013, all programming is shared with sister station Metro Radio in Newcastle. The TFM branding was retained along with separate news bulletins and advertising. Two journalists are based locally for newsgathering in the TFM area.[1] The two stations were able to merge without consultation because both the TFM and Metro licence areas are located in one OFCOM-approved broadcast area (North East England).[2]

The TFM studios in Thornaby were closed and remaining staff were moved to Newcastle. Most on-air staff were made redundant,[3] including breakfast presenters Wayne Tunnicliffe and Amy McConnell, who were replaced by Metro Radio counterparts Steve Furnell and Karen Wight.[4] Despite the merger, RAJAR reported an increase in weekly listener reach for TFM during the second quarter of 2013.[5]


Regional programming consists of Steve & Karen's Breakfast Show on weekdays from 6-10am, which is produced and broadcast from Metro Radio's Newcastle studios and syndicated with sister station TFM.[6]

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


TFM broadcasts regional news bulletins hourly from 6am-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.


External linksEdit