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Posted: Mon 08 Aug, 2016 19.57
For anyone unaware, Bauer merged Metro and TFM a few years back. They decided to retain the TFM brand and thus the bizarre pretence that it stills exists despite everything coming from (and networked) with Newcastle. In the immediate few months after the merger, they appeared to get away with this by simply not mentioning either station name outside of the jingles.
However, tuning in recently, I'm curious to know how the DJ once again acknowledging the station name in natural speech (e.g. "This is TFM, I'm x" "you're listening to y on Metro") is being achieved. I notice the 7-10pm show is networked across the entire Big City network but the DJ still mentions the individual station name before moving onto texts, tweets, etc. in completely natural sounding tone.
Tuning between the two stations in the North East, this is being achieved without any kind of delay - leading me to theorise they may record a series of name checks that are slickly played out on each individual station before the networked bits of business? Which seems like quite a bit of effort to prop up this facade (but it works).
I'm sure the answer is really boring.
Posted: Tue 09 Aug, 2016 00.10
Same situation happens in West Wales. In at least one example, the same programme with the same presenter was played out across the whole T&C Network of stations (Ceredigion / Pembrokeshire / Carmarthenshire / Scarlet) but with their own voice-checks, jingles etc. It was seamless when crossing the county line. It's cleverly done, although I suspect a large chunk of the show is voicetracked.
Posted: Thu 11 Aug, 2016 10.21
Similar style thing happens on Magic FM in London and Magic National on DAB... when the DJ reads the travel news there's two versions - one is London specific on 105.FM/DAB London, and a national travel news on Magic on the national DAB multiplex. I thought it might work with London getting a song, then travel while national gets travel, then a song so that both travel updates could be done live. However it appears they are both simultaneous so one must be recorded.
Posted: Thu 11 Aug, 2016 21.15
They do the same thing on a national scale with what they do with their City 2 and City 3 networks. They all carry localised branding, i.e Viking 2, Hallam 3, but as far as I know all programming bar local news is networked. Bauer must find the regional brands quite strong if they go through all this hassle just to have a familiar sounding station name.
Posted: Sun 14 Aug, 2016 18.53
Here in the East, local stations Town 102 (for Ipswich and surrounding areas) and Norwich 99.9 (for, erm, Norwich and surrounding areas) are owned by the same people (although I don't believe this is always the case) and share evening programming from 7pm and weekend programming for most of the day (early breakfast 6am-8am is networked, then a separate weekend breakfast show 8am-12pm, then networked for the rest of the day).
Town 102's original slogan was 'Just great songs [and local news] for Ipswich', which Norwich 99.9 have taken on (although maybe it's the other way around), with only 'just great songs' used networked programming. They also have the same three-note signature tune (which makes me think that Radio Norwich took on stuff from Town 102, as the jingle singers can easily sing one-oh-two to the three notes, but it's a bit of a squeeze to fit nine-ty-nine-point-nine in the same gap). During networked programming, I believe the jingles are different for each station and that's about it, with the presenter referring to the show they're presenting and the 'just great songs' tag, and not the station. Outside of peak time IRN do the news.
All in all it's quite slick from what i've heard, driving to Norwich once and listening to Town 102 I didn't notice the switch between the two until I started to hear Norwich 99.9 jingles.
Posted: Mon 12 Sep, 2016 18.15
Rock FM and Key 103 have both recently refreshed their jingles and all that, along with presumably the rest of their stations. I don't know how or why, but the whole station (Rock FM) now sounds more like a knock off of Heart, whereas it used to seem to skew a lot younger.
Seem to be completely different DJs as well now. It previously sounded syndicated (but for the most part actually wasn't) but now it sounds more local. Strangely, I think networked shows have actually increased. All very strange.
Posted: Mon 12 Sep, 2016 18.53
Rock for some reason or another axed the whole daytime line-up and replaced them with a husband and wife duo who presented a late show on Key 103 at breakfast alongside two other presenters.
Bauer's local stations in England are a mess at the moment with no clear brand proposition and are losing ground to Global's better programmed but tight national skewed stations.
Posted: Wed 18 Apr, 2018 10.03
Big City is becoming the Hits Radio network - with Key 103 being rebranded from June 4th and becoming quasi-national.
http://www.thedrum.com/news/2018/04/18/ ... on-beckons
Listener feedback/backlash: https://twitter.com/KEY103/status/986492744305664000
Posted: Wed 18 Apr, 2018 15.06
Wonder what impact there’ll be on their other stations. The article talks of restructuring their network but doesn’t really mention what that means. The Twitter feed says it’ll just be a national station based off what is now Key 103. Of course, they already have a national station called The Hits.
Whatever happens, I really hope they fix the issue of having a station on AM called Rock FM 2.
Posted: Wed 18 Apr, 2018 18.22
Most of the syndicated content for the other stations comes from Key 103, doesn’t it? So I do wonder what will happen when they rebrand. Surely they local stations won’t be carrying most the new stations programmes, as otherwise they’ll be repeating most of the content available on the new national DAB version for the majority of the day.
Posted: Thu 19 Apr, 2018 17.51
At a guess, this is stage 1 of a process of rebranding those now outdated heritage local radio stations Bauer own, however Key 103 has been underperforming for years, so this seems to be a way of putting some life into a dated brand and cutting jobs at digital station The Hits.