In the first in a new feature, I showcase a community radio station as my Station of the Week, with the first being decided through the results of a twitter poll. Radio Tyneside won ahead of Ambersound, Express FM in Portsmouth, and Mearns FM in North East Scotland. The names were the first four which popped into my head.
Radio Tyneside started life as a hospital radio station, and expanded across Newcastle and Gateshead in July 2018 on 93.6 FM, after gaining an Ofcom FM community radio license. Prior to that the service was available on AM to hospitals in Newcastle, and on Hospedia to hospitals in Newcastle and Gateshead.
Today, the station still retains an emphasis on health aspects, but also has a diverse range of programmes, including Newcastle United football commentary (commentary not available online), and specialised music programmes.
What I like about the station is the fact that is sounds professional, but doesn’t have the over polished feel that some commercial stations have. The station really cares about the community it serves, and fulfils its dual hospital and community station role very well.
You can see more info on Radio Tyneside on the station guide here.
Mearns FM, the locally focused community station for South Aberdeenshire has joined the Aberdeen local DAB multiplex, extending coverage to most of Aberdeenshire.
The station first launched in 1993 as Stonehaven Community Radio, and became full time 11 years ago. The station is available in Laurencekirk on 105.7 FM, Inverbervie on 106.2 FM, and Stonehaven on 107.3 FM.
The bit rate is not yet confirmed, but the station appears to be using normal DAB, which means all DAB radios should receive the station when within the coverage area.
Chris Donald is moving his Soul Club from BBC Radio Newcastle and BBC Radio Tees to community station Nova Radio North East.
The was temporarily axed due to the recent virus outbreak, before cuts to BBC local radio made the move permanent.
The show will run from 10pm to 1pm on Fridays, in the same slot it held at the BBC.
Nova Radio North East initially launched online, before merging with NE1 FM to take over the 102.5 FM frequency, which can be heard across West Newcastle and Gateshead. NE1 FM initially launched in 2007.
Kev Lawrence is joining Peterborough Community Radio (PCRfm) to host is its breakfast show, starting on Monday 17th August 2020.
Kev has been heard on various breakfast shows in Peterborough, including Hereward FM, Lite FM, and Heart (Cambridgeshire).
He has most recently spent a year at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, but his contract was not renewed due to cuts made during the recent virus outbreak.
Peterborough Community Radio, known as PCRfm on air, can be heard across Peterborough on 103.2 FM.
Steve Furnell, one half of the Steve and Karen Breakfast show on Metro Radio, has joined the presenting team at hospital and community station Radio Tyneside.
He will be presenting a new Back to the Nineties music show, airing on Saturday evenings at 8.00pm, starting from this weekend. The show will play music from the 1990s decade, along with stories from the era.
Steve was named patron of Radio Tyneside in August last year (2019), and also provides the voice over for the stations jingles.
Radio Tyneside is available on 93.6 FM across the Newcastle and Gateshead area.
South West London based community station Riverside Radio has joined the Trial London small-scale DAB multiplex, ahead of an official launch of the new service on the 1st August 2020. The station is using 32 kbps DAB+ stereo.
Riverside Radio has been an online station for the past 5 years, launching as Wandsworth Radio in 2015, and expanding to cover neighbouring areas in 2019.
Riverside Radio is a locally focused service for the Lambeth, Merton, Richmond, and Wandsworth area, with a strong commitment to local news.
Unique circumstances will lead to Northampton gaining an extra two community stations.
Inspiration FM, an existing station, had previously missed a deadline to apply for a new license to continue broadcasting. This resulted in Ofcom opening a special window for applications for community radio licenses in Northampton.
This resulted in three applications, including a new application from Inspiration FM to continue broadcasts. All three applications have been awarded a license.
In addition to Inspiration FM, and existing community station N:Live, two new services will also launch:
Embrace Radio – for all members of the community within the Northampton area, with a focus on regular local news.
Revolution Radio – to serve the diverse ethnic communities of Northampton, also intending to appeal to a wider audience and facilitate links with marginalised communities.
The new licenses run for a period of 5 years.
(Format descriptions adapted from those published on radiotoday.co.uk.)
All About Community Radio (or to give its full title Scott’s Radio Site, All About Community Radio) is the brand new website that has launched today, Monday 20th July 2020.
The aim of the website is simple. To provide information on community run radio stations, and to give these small stations a voice.
The website recycles parts of the old Scott’s Radio Site, a radio website that ran from 2014 to 2020, but has been developed from the ground up.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the website.