Our most local radio FM station, Radio Wave, will disappear from the airwaves in September. The new owner of its licence, Bauer Media, who bought Radio Wave said the station is to become part of its national network.
Bauer Media bought up Fifty eight local radio licences last year including that of Wave 96.5. Now the media giant has said that Radio Wave, founded back in 1992, will be rebranded as Greatest Hits Radio. Jobs at the local station will be at risk due to the absence of local shows, as the emphasis is to be on networked programmes. Bauer says the changes mean that some staff roles will be put into consultation for redundancy and freelance contracts will be reviewed. The group says it’s ‘fully committed to supporting all affected employees throughout this period and will be working closely with them over the months ahead’. A period of consultation with employees potentially affected has already begun. Also some buildings could be surplus to requirements at a later date as fewer studios are required.
Bauer says the integration of the stations it bought last year into the ‘Hits Radio Brand Network’ will mean it becomes the largest commercial radio network in the UK, with the highest listening hours of any commercial radio brand.
Dee Ford, Group Managing Director of Bauer Radio, said: ‘Audiences love and trust radio. Expanding the Hits Radio Brand Network will ensure listeners to these acquired stations benefit from multi-platform digital distribution meaning they can continue to broadcast in an increasingly competitive, digital and voice-activated world.’