Hits Radio

The forum discussing radio
Post Reply
Philip
Posts: 923
Joined: Fri 22 Feb, 2008 21.23
Location: Merseyside
Contact:

Mon 04 Jun, 2018 12.43

Hits Radio launched today in Manchester on FM and nationally on DAB. It's a replacement for both Key 103 in Manchester (which has been suffering badly in the ratings) and also The Hits, their national DAB top 40 station.

The two major commercial radio groups until this point had chosen opposite strategies: Global uses national brands like Capital, Heart, and Smooth on formerly local/regional FM stations, whereas Bauer had continued to use long-established local radio brands (and 'Free Radio' after they bought them) under the umbrellas Bauer City 1 (top 40) and Bauer City 2 (oldies). This appears to be a change of strategy - a new national brand with programming coming out of Manchester.

The new breakfast show is, strangely, co-hosted by (Comedy) Dave Vitty, the former comedy writing partner and show team member of Chris Moyles. He's been off the radio AFAIK since the Radio 1 show ended in 2012. And since Moyles' show is also on FM in Manchester, they'll be going head-to-head in the same city (ignoring the fact that they play different music and on stations aimed at different audiences). He's even brought back one of his old features, Tedious Link. From what I heard, he seems a bit of an odd fit, with co-hosts Gethin Jones and Gemma Atkinson frequently talking over him, and with a lot more music than chat.

It's unfortunate that neither Moyles or Vitty are as good apart as they are together, so hopefully one day they'll settle their differences, but it clearly won't be any time soon.

As for the station, it'll be interesting to see what happens down the line. If it's successful, some people believe that the Hits Radio branding will be rolled out to the rest of Bauer City 1 with local names relegated to the oldies stations. If it isn't, will there be a reversion to the Key 103 name? Or an attempt to reformat or rebrand it to make it work?

https://planetradio.co.uk/hits-radio/
Image
Alexia
Posts: 2967
Joined: Sat 01 Oct, 2005 17.50

Mon 04 Jun, 2018 15.32

Ryan Dunlop will be consulting his lawyers.
Martin Phillp
Posts: 908
Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

Mon 04 Jun, 2018 22.53

The logo is pretty awful.

The station sound is slightly better than the old Key 103, yet it doesn't have the polish that you get from a Global owned radio station.

Bauer's portfolio is a mix of some decent sounding brands, such as Kiss and Absolute, while the local stations and Magic sound a bit naff.
TVF's London Lite.
Philip
Posts: 923
Joined: Fri 22 Feb, 2008 21.23
Location: Merseyside
Contact:

Mon 04 Jun, 2018 23.18

You say that but I've always thought Absolute's sound to be a bit naff, going back to when it launched - I think it's had the Matt Berry voiceover bits since the rebrand from Virgin at least. I know jingles aren't everything but I genuinely think it makes the station feel smaller if it doesn't have a decent sound.

To be fair though, it's not as bad as the Wireless Group. Every time I've tried tuning into the new Virgin Radio it sounds really cheap, and I don't understand why anyone would be bothered to stay listening for any amount of time.
Image
Martin Phillp
Posts: 908
Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

Tue 05 Jun, 2018 01.50

Philip wrote:
Mon 04 Jun, 2018 23.18

To be fair though, it's not as bad as the Wireless Group. Every time I've tried tuning into the new Virgin Radio it sounds really cheap, and I don't understand why anyone would be bothered to stay listening for any amount of time.
Not helped that the audio quality on TWG's digital stations based in London has never been great. It seems they spent the budget on acquiring the franchise licence from Beardie with next to nothing for the actual station output. It even has reverted to a Virgin-esque format used before Absolute was Virgin.
TVF's London Lite.
all new Phil
Posts: 1541
Joined: Sun 13 Feb, 2005 00.04
Location: Next door to Hell

Tue 05 Jun, 2018 08.34

Rock FM had updated jingles and some different shows yesterday. Mix of music felt a bit... edgier?
*ass
Martin Phillp
Posts: 908
Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

Wed 06 Jun, 2018 17.40

I heard a bit of Wes Butters on drive today. Much better than the breakfast show.
TVF's London Lite.
Philip
Posts: 923
Joined: Fri 22 Feb, 2008 21.23
Location: Merseyside
Contact:

Wed 06 Jun, 2018 18.05

Apparently Dave is eventually going to be co-presenting the breakfast show down the line from One Golden Square, Bauer's studios in London. That'll be interesting!
Image
Martin Phillp
Posts: 908
Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

Wed 06 Jun, 2018 21.24

Philip wrote:
Wed 06 Jun, 2018 18.05
Apparently Dave is eventually going to be co-presenting the breakfast show down the line from One Golden Square, Bauer's studios in London. That'll be interesting!
That'll make it harder for the trio to gel with Dave down the line. Might as well move the breakfast show to London.
TVF's London Lite.
User avatar
Ebeneezer Scrooge
Posts: 323
Joined: Tue 23 Sep, 2003 13.53
Location: Scrooge Towers

Sat 09 Jun, 2018 14.13

The comedy Dave thing definitely seems like a desperate attempt to erode Moyles' audience. Gemma Atkinson was on James Martin's itv show this morning and pretty much the only two things I picked up from her interview was "We're from Manchester" and "Comedy Dave is on the show". I think I counted three Comedy Dave references in once sentence.

I did think that Comedy Dave was good with Chris Moyles and it would be good to hear them together again, but ultimately Chris has shown that the sidekick is replaceable. I can't see myself going over even to see what he's like on the new show and I wouldn't be surprised to see Comedy Dave as a temporary headliner - especially if he's cohosting from London.
Snarky
all new Phil
Posts: 1541
Joined: Sun 13 Feb, 2005 00.04
Location: Next door to Hell

Thu 21 Jun, 2018 00.48

I drove into Manchester today and so decided to flick between the breakfast shows on Hits and Rock FM. They were both playing the same songs in the same order, just with different people talking in between. Struck me as a bit odd.

Gethin Jones’ show was dull by the way.
*ass
Post Reply