Radio In Dover (local services)
Radio in Dover (Frequencies)
You can tune into the below radio stations around the Dover area:
Radio History in Dover
Gateway Hospital Broadcasting Service (GHBS)
Neptune Radio - Dover's first commercial radio station
Neptune Radio was founded in Dover on 29th September 1997 as the first ever commercial radio station serving the districts of Shepway (Folkestone) and Dover (White Cliffs Country) on 96.4FM and 106.8FM. The station was previously known as 'The Sound' and run several RSL services known as White Cliffs Sound and Shepway Sound.
It broadcast from offices in Dover's Church Street next to the former offices of the KM Dover Mercury newspaper (now the Beehive Cafe) who had a share in the station. Eddie Austin (pictured below and above in the studios and with the logo) was one of the founders of the station. He was also successfully involved with the licence that ran won the Invicta FM franchise across Kent (later known as Heart Kent). In 2003 Eddie sold his share in Neptune Radio and retired to Malaysia. The station won 'Station of the Year' in the Sony Radio awards in 1999 (as covered in the Dover Express newspaper) when managing director Mark Browning (formerly of Gemini FM, Devon) was at the helm. With him as on air presenters included Spencer Cork and Geoff Fitch.
In 2003 the station was renamed KMFM for Shepway and White Cliffs Country broadcasting from new studios at 93-95 Sandgate Road, Folkestone. KMFM now broadcasts from Ashford and has been a countywide only service since 2012.
(Pictures courtesy of Eddie Austin, used with permission)
Aircheck UK Website Radio Histories:
Radio Histories below from the Aircheck UK website (dated 2005) available on this page: http://www.oocities.org/thehotw/aircheck_UKKent.htm using information provided by myself Terry Cleaver with permission.
BBC LOCAL RADIO:
BBC RADIO MEDWAY (KENT) came onto the airwaves in 1970 only covering north-east Kent from Thames to Sittingbourne using studios based in Chatham. It quickly reflected the spirit of the locality with hundreds of regular contributors from the community, all anxious to be a part of what was seen as an exciting project for the area. The first manager was Harold Rogers, and his work stood the station in good stead for the following 25 years enabling BBC Radio Medway to be a vital part of the framework of Kent. He was awarded the OBE for his pioneering efforts at the station.
BBC Radio Medway became BBC Radio Kent upon the switch on of a new transmitter in 1983 which then gave the station countywide coverage. Reporters are now based in Canterbury, Chatham, Dover, Margate Tunbridge Wells, and Sevenoaks facilities, and there are unmanned studios in Ashford, Dartford and Gravesend.
The radio station is now based in Tunbridge Wells in one of the most modern broadcasting centre in the world. 'The Great Hall' is home to BBC South East Today and the BBC Kent website. BBC Radio Kent has covered its fair share of major stories: the Chatham dockyard closure, the Zeebrugge disaster, the Great Storm of 1987, and the Channel Tunnel opening.
There have been a whole range of activities that make BBC Radio Kent a busy place through the year. The reporters cover Gillingham FC and other local football teams, County Cricket, vital traffic and weather news, and they even record local school bands to promote the county's talents on-air.
BBC Radio Kent broadcasts on 96.7, 104.2 & 97.6FM. www.bbc.co.uk/england/radiokent
COMMERCIAL: LOCAL (ILR):
20/20 FM / CTR-FM: Six applications were submitted to the Radio Authority, for a new FM licence to cover the town of Maidstone in Kent. By January 7th 2003, the applications were submitted from:
* Go-FM (Absolute Radio Kent Ltd): Proposing a new local radio station targeting a 30+ audience combining a unique mix of great adult music with a first-class local news and information service with features and entertainment that focus on the lives of adults in Maidstone
* Maidstone Live (Maidstone FM The Max Ltd): Proposing 'the talk and music radio station for Maidstone' - with local and national news, sport and entertainment.
* MLR (Maidstone Local radio Ltd): Proposing to provide a dedicated radio station for Kent's county town, providing focused local news and information alongside a wide variety of entertaining music-led programming presented by interesting local personalities.
* RFM (Radio for Maidstone Ltd): Proposing a service that will reflect the lifestyle of Maidstone, with a quality local news service, excellent travel information, weather and sport, and will play the best music from the mid-seventies to today. The station's RSL guise was as Maid-FM and brought out a free newspaper in support of the station on 6th December 2002. The Director of the Group is Radio Caroline (60s), Piccadilly Radio (70's), BRMB (early 80's) & Invicta (late 80's / 90's) star Roger Day who has had several radio based roles and has been in high demand over recent years. He has most recently been Group Programme Director of Fusion Radio Holdings and prior to this was the man who launched Cornwall's Pirate FM. Nigel Reeve is the founder of Fusion Radio Holdings, ex-Radio Orwell, 2CR, Invicta, Classic FM & LNR, and there's also Nick Jordan, ex-Invicta, KFM & LNR and Paul Chantler, ex-NewsTalk106 (Dublin), Ministry Of Sound & EMAP, The Wireless Group, Essex Radio & Chiltern Radio, TalkSport, Southern FM & BBC Wiltshire Sound and launched Galaxy 101 & Vibe FM.
* Stone FM - Maidstone Community Radio (Starmela.co.uk Ltd): Proposing a new, innovative, dynamic and exciting station that will primarily target the local community residing within Maidstone, ensuring a local service relevant to the needs of local residents.
* 20/20 (Maidstone Radio Ltd): Building on the success of its numerous RSL broadcasts, 20/20 will be a vibrant, entertaining and unique full-time service of broad appeal that will swiftly become an essential part of Maidstone life with its comprehensive local news, views and information mixed with a wide variety of music from today's greatest hits and the best songs from the last four decades.
In April 2003, the Radio Authority announced it had awarded the licence to the above applicant, 20/20. The new service will provide a local service for the Maidstone area, consisting of over 140,000 people, including over 80% worth of over 15 year olds. It is believed that the actual potential audience within reach of station transmissions is between 100,000 and 170,000.
20/20 FM took backing from the Kent Messenger Group, who operate a string of KM-FM stations in the South East. 20/20 ran a series of RSL broadcasts under the name Maidstone Festival Radio (MFR), County Town Radio (CTR) and, more recently under it's successful application name. When CTFM came on-air in 1997, the Radio Authority asked CTR to change it's name to prevent confusion. 20/20 FM was created taking the number from local roads, the A20 and M20 and a new road the A2020. In it's new guise, and with backing from Kent Messenger, it was set to be a 'vibrant, entertaining and unique full time service of broad appeal that will swiftly become an essential part of Maidstone life with it's comprehensive local news, views and information mixed with a wide variety of music from today's greatest hits and the best songs from the last four decades'. It is expected that the local community will be involved in station production, with input from charities and voluntary organisations. The station launched as a full time station on 18th October 2003 on 105.6FM as CTR-FM from purpose built premises at 6-8 Mill Street in Maidstone. Despite it's early KM backing, it is totally independent.
It's licence says that the service is designed for 25-54 year olds, and it is a music-led service with comprehensive local news, views and information mixed with a wide variety of today's greatest hits and the best songs from the last four decades. 24hour programming is provided, locally produced and presented, with 21 hours of actual live programming on Sundays. There are presentation and production staff on site for 16 hours a day, particularly all day Monday to Saturday and for 12 hours on Sundays. There are no simulcast or repeated programme strands. Speech content is set at 20% minimum, 30% maximum during weekday daytime, 15% min, 25% max during weekday evening programming, Saturdays and Sundays see 15% min, 25% max in the day and the evening.
Speech content, other than news includes regular weather and travel, what's on, charity and voluntary organisation information, entertainment news and gossip, jobnews, business news in breakfast, with a weekly review each Sunday, including news and local issues, guests, phone-ins, and sports coverage lasting at least four hours on Saturday afternoons. News bulletins, including local, regional and national as well as World news, lasting at least three minutes is heard hourly from 6:20am-7:00pm weekdays and 8:00am-2:00pm weekends and bank holidays, with an extended bulletin lasting at least 15 minutes at 1:00pm and 6:00pm. Headlines are provided in peaktime every twenty minutes from 6:20am weekdays and at 8:30 and 9:30am weekends, with hourly bulletins at other times.
CHANNEL TRAVEL RADIO: What sounded like a good idea in theory, actually proved quite difficult in the main. Having launched five years previously on 107.6 FM to cover the M20 and the Channel Ports, and with a sister station on 106.7 for Calais and Northern France, the rolling travel news service operated by Radio Services Ltdunder contract, focusing on cross-channel activities, shut down suddenly, without the Radio Authority being told, at Midnight on 27th September 2000. Eurotunnel had previously been financing the station but had formerly advised the station that it was withdrawing all funding. Radio Services made attempts to continue the service, but to no avail. And so the service closed down with Ella Fitzgerald's 'Evry Time We Say Goodbye' with station manager Michaela Segol thanking all supporters and referring to the 24hour service that had been provided for the five years previously, with the only interruption being when a transmission provider cable was damaged accidentally. The RA went on to investigate the sudden close - conclusions drawn are not widely known.
106 CTFM / KM-FM 106: CTFM started as the ILR station serving more than 140,000 people in the Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay area from state of the art studios at 16 Lower Bridge Street, Canterbury, Kent. Transmissions started at 11am on September 21st 1997. Perhaps one of the lines becoming gradually more tired in the radio industry is 'the home of the no-repeat work 925 workday' - a line used by CTFM as well ass others too. It's licence remit line states 'Great songs, news and information for Canterbury, Herne Bay and Whitstable - Across the city and along the coast.'
October of 2001 saw a relaunch of the station using another strapline, 'The Best Music, Across The City and Along The Coast.' with a format to 'play a unique mix of music from the last four decades intermixed with Local, National and International news and up to date travel news, local weather and local information.'
Five shows took up CTFM's week's schedule from Monday to Saturday: Breakfast 6:00-10:00, Mid Morning 10:00-14:00 and a lengthy drive/afternoon show from 14:00 to 18:00. Evening programming consists of the request show 18:00 to 23:00 (!) and a late night show from 23:00-01:00 when automation takes over. On Sundays, the shows are shorter after 10:00am with patterns from 10:00-13:00, 13:00-17:00, the National Recall chart from 17:00-19:00 and the BBC appear at 19:00. But don't be confused, this is a play on the initials and actually stands for the 'Barry Bethall Club'. Late night programming is from 23:00-01:00 as with the other days in the week.
Almost four years after launch, local newspaper business Kent Messenger Ltd notified the Radio Authority that it had acquired the station, along with other South East Radio Ltd stations, Dover & Folkestone's Neptune Radio. Under broadcasting law, a company which runs a local newspaper cannot also own a local radio station in the same area unless a public interest test shows that the arrangement would not be against the public interest. And so the public interest test was conducted with no negative conclusions drawn by the Authority by November 2001. The station name was subsequently changed to reflect group branding - KM-FM. Today the station continues it's music variety format with the resources of the Kent Messenger for news coverage, and prides itself on offering a 'purely local' service. www.ctrfm.com
NORTHDOWN RADIO / INVICTA SOUND / INVICTA RADIO / INVICTA FM: Kent's first major commercial radio station took it's name from the crest of the county showing the word which heraldry shows as meaning 'unconquered'. It commenced broadcasting on 1st October 1984 using 103.8FM, & 242meters 1242kHz Medium Wave for the Maidstone area and 95.1FM & 497meters 603kHz (Canterbury) 95.9 FM (Thanet) 96.3 (Ashford) & 97FM (Dover). However, it could quite easily have been called Northdown Radio - this was the working title given in the initial 1983 application written by Roger Day (ex-Radio England, Caroline, Luxembourg, North Sea International, Piccadilly & BRMB previously)
In the early days, it played on the AM services - station logos prominently showing 1242 & 603kHz 'and on FM in Stereo' attached as an optional add-on. Also, in the early days, you could have been forgiven for thinking you were listening to a talk station, because there was a significantly high level of news - in such an early period of commercial radio, this had quite an adverse effect on listeners. Having spent some time externally monitoring the output, station management brought in local man Michael Bukht to turn things around. An early Alfasound jingle amusingly sung 'Invicta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta Stereo'. Due to a frequency audit around 1985, 103.8 became 103.1, and 95.1 became 102.8 - this was to enable the FM band to show groupings for FM commercial and BBC stations. Programmes came from studios in Canterbury and Maidstone. Another frequency change, albeit slight, occurred with the splitting of FM & AM frequencies in the late 1980s.. Invicta FM continued on FM whilst Coast AM took over the MW service, which later became Invicta Supergold. Amongst it's celebrity names to have appeared, there's ex-Radio 1 early days presenter Duncan Johnson & the great Dave Cash (ex-Radio 1, Caroline & London) was also Weekend Breakfast show presenter and Deputy MD from 1987-1989. In that time, he turned around the station's revenue fortunes and increased the station's audience. Southern Radio bought Invicta in 1991 which in turn latterly became part of Capital Radio plc when they bought out Southern Radio Group stations. Today, the station, which is officially for Maidstone, Medway & East Kent operates on five frequencies - 95.9 (East Kent), 96.1 (Ashford), 97.0 (East Kent), 102.8 (Canterbury) & 103.1 (Maidstone & Medway) from studios at Radio House, John Wilson Business Park, Whitstable in Kent. www.invictafm.com
NORTHDOWN RADIO / INVICTA RADIO / COAST AM / COAST CLASSICS / INVICTA SUPERGOLD / CAPITAL GOLD (Kent): Kent's first major commercial radio station took it's name from the crest of the county showing the word which heraldry shows as meaning 'unconquered'. It commenced broadcasting on 1st October 1984 using 103.8FM, & 242meters 1242kHz Medium Wave for the Maidstone area and 95.1FM & 497meters 603kHz (Canterbury) 95.9 FM (Thanet) 96.3 (Ashford) & 97FM (Dover). However, it could quite easily have been called Northdown Radio - this was the working title given in the initial 1983 application written by Roger Day(ex-Radio England, Caroline, Luxembourg, North Sea International, Piccadilly & BRMB previously)
In the early days, it played on the AM services - station logos prominently showing 1242 & 603kHz 'and on FM in Stereo' attached as an optional add-on. Also, in the early days, you could have been forgiven for thinking you were listening to a talk station, because there was a significantly high level of news - in such an early period of commercial radio, this had quite an adverse effect on listeners. Having spent some time externally monitoring the output, station management brought in local man Michael Bukht to turn things around. An early Alfasound jingle amusingly sung 'Invicta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta Stereo'. Due to a frequency audit around 1985, 103.8 became 103.1, and 95.1 became 102.8 - this was to enable the FM band to show groupings for FM commercial and BBC stations. Programmes came from studios in Canterbury and Maidstone. Another frequency change, albeit slight, occurred with the splitting of FM & AM frequencies in the late 1980s.. Invicta FM continued on FM whilst Coast AM took over the MW service, which later became Invicta Supergold.
Coast FM was the first station for Willie Morgan who merely did a Rock Show fill one day from their Maidstone studios. Amongst it's celebrity names to have appeared, there's ex-Radio 1 early days presenter Duncan Johnson & the great Dave Cash (ex-Radio 1, Caroline & London) was also Weekend Breakfast show presenter and Deputy MD from 1987-1989. March 27th 1989 saw a renaming of the station to Invicta Supergold. In that time, Dave Cash turned around the station's revenue fortunes and increased the station's audience. Southern Radio bought Invicta in 1991 which in turn latterly became part of Capital Radio plc when they bought outSouthern Radio Group stations in 1998. Today, the local AM elements of the Capital Gold service come from Invicta FM studios at Radio House, John Wilson Business Park, Whitstable in Kent. www.capitalgold.com
LARK FM / KM-FM Ashford: See THE FUTURE section below.
MEDWAY FM / MERCURY FM / Medway's KM-FM: Transmissions for this new Kent service started 1st September 1997. But within 12 months of launch, the operators Medway FM Ltd, were in hot water with industry regulators, The Radio Authority, who found the station guilty of intentionally adjusting the power of it's transmitter on two separate occasions, and significantly above the level specified by the licence. Subsequently, a £5,000 fine + £60 RA costs was imposed. The RA said that the station's frequency of 107.9 is right next to the frequency range off a normal radio spectrum, as used by aircraft to be guided towards their target airfield.
By February 1999, an approach to the RA had been made by DMGT, (Daily Mail & General Trust) who were, at the time, making inroads into radio acquisitions. The acquisition in question here was that DMGT were seeking approval to buy Radio Mercury Limited for £3.75million in cash. Mercury then controlled Surrey FM & AM licences, Mercury FM & Fame 1521 for Reigate & Crawley.
So, here we begin to see where the Mercury branding came in. DMG then took a controlling interest in Medway FM in the March of 2000 - and notified the RA of the same - meaning DMG were becoming a dominant force in the five counties around London - taking the licences held to nine in the South East of the country. DMG then held 70 stations in the UK, Australia and Central Europe - plus other minor radio investments. A public interest test was then carried out by the Radio Authority but no negative effects were forseen and business continued under the new name which was then rolled out - Medway became Mercury, at least on-air.
Following DMGT's disposal of it's radio interests, for a short time, GWR had their hands on Mercury - and many feared a repeat of the 'better music mix' in yet another area. But GWR didn't keep it for long due to the ongoing group problem of 'station ownership points' as stipulated by the Radio Authority - enter the next owner. Enter another public interest test. Kent Messenger Ltd had then taken a controlling interest in Medway FM Ltd which broadcast as Mercury 107.9 and 100.4. KMG already published several newspapers in the Medway FM area so plurality was investigated. Again, no negative effects were envisaged, and so the takeover was complete and the station was re-launched in group branding: Medway's KM-FM from 2nd September 2002.
The station continues to serve 315,000 adults aged 15+ from studios at 186 High Street, Rochester. www.kentonline.co.uk/kmfm
CHANNEL RADIO / THE SOUND / SHEPWAY SOUND / WHITE CLIFFS SOUND / NEPTUNE RADIO / KM-FM for Shepway & White Cliffs Country: The roots of this radio station can be traced as far back as the 1970s as a pirate station - Channel Radio, launched by Eddie Austin. The station was hugely popular, and despite receiving heavy fines, Eddie vowed to fight on until a full-time licence was granted. Upon the arrival of new regulator The Radio Authority, came the opportunity to hold short-term radio licences - RSLs or Restricted Service Licences. Shepway Sound made two outings using these licences - firstly from 27/11/93 to 24/12/93 for Folkestone, then again from 08/08/94 to 04/09/94 for Dover. White Cliffs Sound aired in between times, firstly from 02/05/94 to 29/05/04 to cover the Dover White Cliffs Festival, and again as White Cliffs Country from 01/08/1995 to 28/08/1995.
This service launched as Neptune Radio - a GOLD format station for the Channel Ports of Dover and Folkestone, operated by South East Radio Ltd (although Kent Messenger had a share holding too) on 29th September 1997. It was originally going to be called The Sound after the trial broadcasts were provided in the broadcast area - the name Neptune Radio was put in place prior to launch because of it's close location to the sea! It's broadcasts started in one of the oldest buildings in Dover, situated in Church Street, ironically, next door to Kent Messenger offices. As Neptune, the station won several radio industry awards - notably a 1998 Sony Radio Award for the Drivetime show and was also nominated for a Sony Radio Award for Station of the Year in 1999. The station subsequently won the award in both 1999 & 2000. Station Programme manager Spencer Cork won an award for Technical Excellence in Broadcasting in 1999, as awarded by the CRCA (Commercial Radio Companies Association). There was also an award for 'Best News Programme' for 'Neptune Reports'
With such success, the station became an attractive acquisition target. Radio Investments took control of the station, applying it's successful format to Arrow 107.8(Hastings) and Sovereign Radio 107.5 in Eastbourne.
Almost four years after launch, in August 2001, local newspaper business Kent Messenger Ltd notified the Radio Authority that it had acquired the 60% of the station it didn't own, along with Canterbury's CTFM Ltd, broadcasting as 106 CTFM Radio, and TLR in Thanet. Under broadcasting law, a company which runs a local newspaper cannot also own a local radio station in the same area unless a public interest test shows that the arrangement would not be against the public interest. And so the public interest test was conducted with no negative conclusions drawn by the Authority by November 2001. August 2002 saw the encroachment of networking under the guise of 'East Kent's biggest jukebox' followed by the Barry Bethall Club. The station name was subsequently changed to reflect group branding - KM-FM.
In January 2003, under Kent Messenger's ownership, KM-FM for Shepway & White Cliffs Country moved to a purpose built office at 93-95 Sandgate Road, Folkestone - this site offers station staff some pleasant views across the English Channel & the Dover Straights. The move was not done with ease - Shepway Council wouldn't let the station beam the Dover signal across from Folkestone to the Guston transmitter. Instead, a land line was installed across to what later became vacated Dover offices. The station broadcasts to a potential audience of 145,000 with a mix of adult contemporary music from the 60s to today plus the obligatory news programming. There are also regular travel bulletins covering ports activity plus crime prevention programming with Kent Police. Two frequencies, 96.4 (Folkestone) & 106.8 (Dover) are used to broadcast the service. www.kentonline.co.uk/kmfm
PREMIER RADIO / PREMIER CHRISTIAN RADIO: It was 10th June 1995 when religious radio got the chance to take to the air, albeit on AM airwaves. Broadcasting from the appropriately named Chapter Street in London's SW1 Victoria district, it provides news, current affairs and lifestyle issues reflecting the values and beliefs of the Christian faith. Music aired on the station is designed to reflect Christian life as well as traditional and contemporary styles. Broadcasts come from five transmitters using three frequencies for London and around the M25 catchment area: 1413AM (Heathrow) (West) for Maidenhead, Camberley, Staines, Harrow, Watford, 1413 (Dartford) (East) for Chelmsford, Brentwood, Dartford, Maidstone & Sevenoaks, 1305 (Enfield) (North) for Stevenage, Bishops Stortford, Harlow and Hertford, 1305 (South) (Ewell) for Crawley, Guildford, Reigate and Woking, and 1332 (Bow) for London, including Barnet and Croydon. The station can also be heard on the local cable television service (NTL) on channel 886 and nationally via SKY DIGITAL on Channel 873.
Premier Christian Radio aims to provide a platform for others to be heard, with editorial content designed to emphasise common beliefs and values from within the Christian community, but does not hold firm places for particular religious denominations, theologies, political or doctrinal views. Output is produced and presented by both paid staff and volunteers, the latter numbering over 150. It is commercial funded. www.premier.org.uk.
TLR FM / TLR 107.2 / Thanet's KM-FM: Founded by Ken Wills, Alan McKaye & Peter Wilson, the station was launched as TLR (Thanet Local Radio) on January 17th 1998. Research has shown that the launch was not without drama - back in the September of 1997, the Radio Authority gave the station the green light on the licence after some alleged internal legal wrangles between the company's directors. We can find no further information on this particular point.
Still, after launch, the station forged very strong links with the local community in it's early years. The station was the first acquisition for Kent Messenger Ltd, publishers of a set of local newspapers. After launch, RAJAR/IPSOS-RSL figures showed an increase in average weekly listenership of 20%.
In 2001, local newspaper business Kent Messenger Ltd notified the Radio Authority that it had acquired the Canterbury station CTFM, (see above), along with another old South East Radio Ltd station, Dover & Folkestone's Neptune Radio to add to Thanet station TLR 107.3. Under broadcasting law, a company which runs a local newspaper cannot also own a local radio station in the same area unless a public interest test shows that the arrangement would not be against the public interest. And so the public interest test was conducted with no negative conclusions drawn by the Authority by November 2001. On 12th March 2002, it was announced that Kent Messenger had bought two more radio stations, almost doubling the size of it's overall broadcasting reach. It reached an agreement with GWR Group plc to purchase, for what was an undisclosed sum, the Mercury radio operations, to add to other acquisitions The station name was subsequently changed to reflect group branding -KM-FM - in March 2003, having been authorised by the Radio Authority in the previous January. Today the station continues it's music variety format with the resources of the Kent Messenger for news coverage, and prides itself on offering a 'purely local' service, which includes regular community action features, and outlets for charities and organisations. The Thanet station continues to appear at local events such as the Grand Prix Ramsgate Power Boat Event and the Broadstairs Water Gala.
Programming runs from 6:00am to 1:00am with each late night show quite beautifully titled 'Dreamtime'. An overnight sustaining service fills the gap in between. Programmes originate from the old TLR premises at Imperial House, 2-14 High Street in Margate. www.kentonline.co.uk/kmfm
RADIO THAMESMEAD (RTM) / MILLENNIUM RADIO / MILLENNIUM 106.8 / 106.8 TIME FM: Formerly heard exclusively on the Thamesmead cable system as a community radio station, it spent many years campaigning for a full FM broadcast frequency. In 1989, their hard work paid off when Radio Thamesmead Ltd, operated by Thamesmead Town Ltd, was awarded a licence to broadcast to South East London by the Radio Authority. It launched as RTM Radio on 18th March 1990. Four years later, in January 1994, a full eight-year licence was re-awarded to the station. (It faced just one opponent for its licence from Thames Radio Group.)
The station was to be run entirely not for profit, with any excess funding steered into community based projects and to improve station facilities. Over its time on air, a diverse mix of specialist programming was broadcast, along with regular input from members of the public - a group of nearby houses were where adequate production facilities were housed.
In September 1999, the Radio Authority gave permission for the station, which had then changed its name to Millennium Radio, to choose two ethnic communities it wished to provide a community radio service for. Previously, a three-month trial period had been agreed in which no Asian music programming was carried. It's broadcast licence had, in the past, obliged the station to feature Asian music programming within the schedule. It also provided a set of programmes for Vietnamese and Africans but these were not part of the licence remit. The RA, acting with a light touch policy, considered it inappropriate to give orders to a mainstream station as to which minorities it should provide a service for. The Millennium format was subsequently amended with the inclusion of the elements for the minorities of the station's choice - those being Vietnamese & African, although stating that they could still expand to feature Asian programming if they decided to. This was based on the varying nature and volume of the make up of each ethnic community in the Capital - and allowed such a free rein for the station providing they were obliging their community remit.
1991 Census figures showed less than 4% of the people living in Bexley & Greenwich, the station broadcast area, were of Asian origin. This was in contrast to letters and petitions received by the RA regarding Asian programming on the station during the three month trial period - a contributing factor to the RA decision was based on the fact that a large proportion of mail received was actually from outside the Millennium broadcast radius.
A year later, the station was sold to Milestone Pictures Group, who were already running YouthFM on the internet, Sky Digital and using the Radio Authority Restricted Service Licences (RSLs). At this point, RAJAR - audience figure providers - concluded that of almost 800,000 possible listeners, 2% of all adults were listening, that is around 15,000 adults and around 1,000 children aged below 15. The acquisition had followed a lengthy period of speculation about a possible takeover and several failed attempts by other groups and individuals. It was originally put up for sale for £1m in June 1999.
At the time of takeover, it was turning over £180,000 for the financial year to 1998-1999, but was having a difficult time and showed a running loss of £267,000. This was despite a change of name and frequency (106.8). Its licence format at the time showed that the station was providing a 'full service of music, news and community information for 35-55 year olds in the Thamesmead area' and that hourly news bulletins with local news must run in daytime programming from Monday to Sunday, speech content should not be less than 20% of the same and that music policy was one of current and recent hits and album tracks with a whopping 40% of music airtime open to be non-hit singles, album material and easy listening. Just five hours of evening programming per week were to be of specialist orientation.
The station was later owned by Fusion Radio Holdings who, in January of 2003 renamed the station Time 106.8. The station's total survey area (TSA) was then downsized to around 500,000 - IPSOS/RAJAR figures for the period July-December 2002 showed an increase in audience to 20,000 people (4%) with each listener tuning in for 8.1 hours per week. Broadcasting from studios at the top end of Basildon Road in London, it is designed to appeal to a more specific 25-54 year old age group with a mix of music from the past five decades. The participation of the local community in programme production was evident as was the arts and specialist music programming. Time 106.8 targets South East London and North West Kent and Central London south of the River Thames.
A scan down the schedule under Fusion Radio Holdings ownership showed a general schedule Monday to Saturday, except a continuous music sweep from 9pm-10pm weekdays, Vietnamese programming aired for 30 minutes at 6:00am every Sunday, a soul show every Sunday night from 10pm, there was continuous music from Midnight to 6:00am throughout the week, and for sports coverage, the station focused on the progress of Charlton Athletic FC.
In February 2004, Sunrise Radio Holdings, which already held two London analogue radio licences at the time, plus digital radio services, bought Time 106.8(Thamesmead), and Fusion 107.3 from Milestone Group for £1.2m. Both stations had been for sale for twelve months previously - Sunrise also later bought Havering'sSoul City FM, rebranding both that station and Fusion 107.3 as Time FM. The newly acquired stations form part of the Sunrise Empire, but under the separate heading of the London Media Company. Another station joined the group in May 2004 when Sunrise bought Slough's Star 106.6FM.
The Time 106.8 station schedule is now very mainstream with standard elements throughout the day with the occasional special, i.e. Smash Hits Chart, School Reunion, 80s and Love elements. Programming is live from 4:00am-Midnight with automation in between. There is no longer coverage of Charlton Athletic FC - a change evident since the new owners moved in. According to Jul-Dec 2003 audience figures, the station is listened to by 16,000 of a potential 483,000 adults aged 15+ with each listener tuning in for 7.8 hours per week - this gives it a 1.3% share of all listening in the local marketplace. www.timefm.com/Time_106.8.htm (Time FM home page @ www.timefm.com)
COMMERCIAL: REGIONAL (IRR)
JAZZ FM London / JFM / 102.2 JAZZ FM / 102.2 SMOOTH FM: Broadcasting from 26-27 Castlereagh Street in London, this specialist station began broadcasting on 4th March 1990 as Jazz FM (London). Its sister station in the North West started four years later. This particular station's format is one of jazz, soul, blues and R&B, with regional, national and world news in with the speech content. The Jazz FM brand belongs to the Guardian Media Group - the 100.4 North West Independent Regional Radio (IRR) MD is the ex-Border Radio/Century boss John Myers. The service is also available to DTT Freeview customers, on SKY Digital channel 917, via cable TV operators, DAB Digital Radio and on line at www.jazzfm.co.uk. Daytime output includes a general mix of popular jazz and soul music - with evening programming taking on an increasingly more laid back feel as the night progresses. Specialist shows also feature. Among well known presenters to appear, there'sTony Blackburn, Paul Jones (Manfred Mann & Radio 2), and Jim Colvin (Chiltern Radio & Choice FM). There are also experienced Jazz musicians in the presenter line-up. As far as regional coverage is concerned, we're talking outwards from the Capital, as far as Stevenage & Luton in Bedfordshire in the North, Chelmsford andEssex, Maidstone & Kent in the East, Camberley & Woking, Guildford, Reigate & Crawley in Surrey to the South, High Wycombe & Hemel Hempstead inBuckinghamshire, and all points in-between, to approximately 10million people. Although it was known as JFM for a short time, it later reverted back to original branding, albeit with an additional frequency tag.
Audience figures for Jazz FM reached a new high for the three months up to September 2004, with 131,000 new listeners taking total listenership to 845,000. It aims to have 10% of the audience listening for an average of seven hours per week. Despite the fact that the station owners have never made a profit in it's 13 year lifetime, Myers expected GMG Radio would record a profit for the first time in 2004 - it reported only a £2.1m loss in 2003, down from £6.3m the year before. Myers refrained from commenting on suggestions that the group could merge with Chrysalis who, in November 2004, reported flat advertising revenues over recent months and in the wake of the suggestion of a Capital / GWR Merger.
Would you expect a station called Jazz FM to play Jazz music? OFCOM didn't seem to think so, as it was agreed that from Monday 15th November 2004, traditional Jazz could disappear from daytime schedules on the London station and North West 100.4 Smooth FM station previously known as Jazz FM, after the regulator agreed to the station request for a change of format. Instead, the station will play more soul and R&B in daytime hours in a bid to appeal to more listeners and advertisers, however, modern jazz singers, described as being of the likes of Jamie Cullum and Joss Stone, arguably cross over artists anyway, will be heard in the daytime. Chief Exec of the station's owners, Guardian Media Group, John Myers said: "The policy we are going on is ratings by day, reputation by night Jazz is much more of a night-time listen so the changes fit well." The station will increase evening Jazz output from 40 to 45 hours per week, with the flagship 'Dinner Jazz' show, lasting three hours per night rather than two. OFCOM's authority for the changes has seen the scrapping of it's licence provision stating that '50% of the output in daytime sits well with the term 'Jazz'.
Following the renaming of the North West station in March and the subsequent amendment to the music format in November 2004, in February 2005, GMG took a decision to abandon the Jazz name completely by re-branding London's 102.2 Jazz FM as 102.2 Smooth FM. The North West change was implemented with the aim to appeal to a wider audience of listeners and enable it to achieve full potential. Now, the London station is expected to relaunch within six months, moving on to target a wide audience of listeners interested in a broader selection of music. A multi-million pound advertising campaign across the Capital will back up the transition.
The decision to abandon the Jazz FM name came after efforts to get the programming schedule across, whilst keeping the name, failed to attract audience and revenue to GMG's satisfaction. However, extensive research has revealed that there is a large appetite for the style of music set to be broadcast when the relaunch takes place - artists such as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, George Benson, Michael Buble and Diana Krall will fill the new daytime schedule.
GMG Radio Chief Executive John Myers said: "We believe this station has enormous potential and will soon be among London's top five commercial stations. As sorry as we are to say goodbye to JAZZFM, it's a sad fact of life that it has never made a profit in its 15 years of existence. We are caught between not playing enough jazz to please the purist and having the name which inhibits trial from other listeners. There are not enough people who like jazz music to make it a viable proposition and this has been a fact for 15 years now. This new brand and direction will allow us to really grab the opportunities that lie ahead - there is a wider gap in the market for what we will do. The success of and appetite for Smooth FM has already been proven in the North West and we're looking forward to replicating its achievements in London."
The London station will continue to include 45 hours of specialist jazz programming each week, and presenters such as Sarah Ward, Ramsey Lewis and Campbell Burnap will remain with the station. In a further move, GMG Radio has also announced that the stations website www.Jazzfm.com will see additional investment with the site upgraded to include its own 24 hours a day output of pure jazz.
Having established the brand in the North West, Smooth now appears on the SKY Digital radio channel line up. Output launched on Channel 878 from Valentine's Day, 14th February 2005. Audience figures from RAJAR Quarter 4 figures for 2005 show that the station achieved an record audience figure of 437,000 listeners a week. GMG Radio Managing Director Roy Bennett said: "The station's been such a huge success it will be great to give it a national platform. Radio listening via the television continues to grow and is a great way for people to sample Smooth FM."
For ALR 106.5 Ashford Local Radio, ASHFORD FM & LARK FM: See THE FUTURE section below.
THE RIVER: Established in 1997, this station has been campaigning since then to bring local radio to Gravesham and Dartford, aka Kent Thameside. They state that there is space on the local radio dial for a new station for the area. This has been acknowledged by former radio industry regulator The Radio Authority, however, the RA also said at the same time that they could not find a slot on the crowded FM dial.
The group maintains it's campaign based on many factors, but particularly that the area has the UK's largest regeneration scheme, that the population is set to rise by more than 50% by 2021, and that there will be 50,000 jobs and 30,000 homes in the next 20 years including a new mini city called Ebbsfleet near Gravesend and Dartford, and the creation of the Ebbsfleet International Passenger Station linking the area to the continent in two hours or under from 2007 and halving journeys to London St. Pancras to just 20 minutes.
Three trial services have been operated to date - firstly from 05/07/97, again from 27/11/97 and most recently from 03/07/1999, all on 107.1 FM. The group has been very quiet since then, but maintains it''s campaign via it's website - www.theriver.co.uk
SWALE SOUND: This station first appeared on the local radio dial on 28th November 1997 for 28-days targeting Sittingbourne. For it's second broadcast from 4th August 2002, it targeted Sheerness, and since that time, it has based itself towards Minster On Sea for further regular broadcasts. Swale Sound has long campaigned for a local radio station for Sittingbourne, Faversham, The Isle of Sheppey and the Swale area. Despite maintaining it's campaign for the same, it has won one battle to get on-air, and now appears on the new Kent Digital Multiplex (see below) which came on-line in April 2004. Swale Sound shares the channel with Totally Radio and airs from 6:00am-6:00pm. www.swalesound.co.uk / www.swalesound.com
DIGITAL: One application was received by the Radio Authority for the new Kent Digital radio multiplex licence. Capital Radio Digital, a subsidiary of Capital Radio plc, applied for the 12 year licence to serve over 1.2million people aged 15 or more in the service area. In April 2003, the RA awarded the new Kent DAB licence to them. Nine channels are promised including BBC Radio Kent, of which it is required to carry under the terms of the 1996 Broadcasting Act.
The Channel Line-Up is as follows:
* Invicta FM (CHR)
* Capital Gold (Gold)
* BBC Radio Kent (PSB)
* Kent Digital Extra (AC and classic hits, local news - provided by Kent Digital Extra Ltd., a subsidiary of Kent Messenger Ltd.)
* Xfm (Credible new music)
* Saga Radio (Easy listening)
* Kiss (Dance)
* Community channel - supplier to be confirmed
* Swale Sound (a Full local service (Swale area) (06.00-18.00)) / Totally Radio (Alternative specialist (18.00-06.00)) See RSL section above for a profile & weblink
The service started operating in April 2004 using VHF band III frequency block 11C (centre frequency: 220.352 MHz)., utilising five transmitters located at Bluebell Hill, Chartham, Ashford, Tunbridge Wells and Margate) to hit 73% of the intended audience.
In late July 2004, OFCOM formally advertised a new 12-year FM radio licence for Ashford in Kent to cover the town and the surrounding area using 107.6 for an estimated audience of 60,000 adults (15+) but this is dependent on the capabilities and technical statistics for the transmission site which will be authorised afterOFCOM receives final plans from the successful applicant. 500w mixed looks set to be the max achievable for this station which has variable measures of radius width dependent on the transmitter site. OFCOM may have to impose restrictions so as not to affect existing stations Dream 107.7 in Chelmsford, Havering's Soul City 107.5 and Sovereign Radio in Eastbourne (107.5). Additionally, there may be problems resulting in a restriction to south-east signals which, if allowed, could interrupt output for a 107.7 based travel news service in France. Applicants had until 21st October 2004 to submit an application along with a non-refundable deposit of £1,500.
Following the closing date, a total of six applications had been received. Only East Kent Radio pledged to target local residents aged 30 or over - all the others targeted a younger audience. In February 2005, OFCOM awarded a licence to Lark FM, who will launch under the locally familiar KM-fm branding of KM-fm Ashford. Kent Messenger own 67% of the enterprise, with Barretts Ltd owning 10%, Hobbs Parker Partnership holding 7.5% with the remaining 15.5% owned by 10 individuals.
A total of five short-term licences under the Lark FM brand have been held, the first from 09/10/00, the last from 28/09/03. The station aimed to provide a quality service concentrating on the local area and people. Output included music from four decades, as well as new chart releases, competitions, news, sport and travel. This station clearly set out aims to be first past the post for the Ashford licence. Programming was hugely similar to the KM-fm format.
Lark FM's website also claimed to have been at the forefront of campaigns for a local radio station, and interestingly stated that the issue became more important after Ashford failed to get a licence in the round of community licences awarded to Kent in 1996, leaving the borough the only place in the Eastern part of the county without a community licence. This comment is made all the more interesting by the fact that actual community licences only came to the fore in the early part of 2004. The group was informed of the plans to bring the process of advertising a licence for the area back in April 2001 by the previous radio industry regulator The Radio Authority (RA), and this is where the group began formulating the sound of the station, in conjunction with public consultations. This began in January 2002 with an initial taste and interest survey, carried out again in May 2002. A focus group carried out research in October 2002 after a further broadcast, and the final survey came in June 2004, to assess who would listen to their proposed new service. If awarded the licence, Lark FM aims to go to air in the Summer of 2005. www.larkfm.co.uk
Having beaten off five other applicants (see below), the station will provide the Borough of Ashford and surrounding areas with a full service of music and speech for a potential 60,000 adults (15+), with a wide variety of contemporary and classic tracks, accompanied by locally focused news, comprehensive local and practical information, and other speech features deemed to be relevant to the Ashford area. The exact transmission area has not been specified - this will be determined by the declaration of the transmitter site and other technical specifications, but the station will operate on 107.6FM, subject to international agreement on the use of the radio dial. KM-fm Ashford aims to launch in the Summer of 2005.
The unsuccessful applicants were:
A10 FM: www.atenfm.co.uk
ALR - Ashford Local Radio: There has been just one outing for this station on conventional airwaves - from 31/05/2003 to 27/06/2003, although it later carried out some webcasting. Ashford Local Radio is a Limited company owned by local investors, and had they have been successful in winning the licence, they aimed to be truly local, owned by, run by and produced for the people of Ashford. Bravely, their website announced that they did not want to be just another number within a giant multinational broadcasting firm or take news and programmes from a central source. They aimed to be an independent voice, accessible to everyone from an early 2005 launch date.
The team's radio connections are reflected by the inclusion of Nigel Reeve, a director, and senior name in the radio industry. He has worked in commercial radio since 1975, when he started at Radio Orwell in Ipswich. After spells at 2CR in Bournemouth and County Sound in Guildford he became Sales Director and then Managing Director of Kent's Invicta Radio, taking the company to a USM flotation in 1989. In 1991 he launched Classic FM as Sales and Marketing Director and in 1996 became Chief Executive of London News Radio. In 2000 he formed Fusion Radio Holdings Ltd before merging the company with Milestone Radio. In 2002 he formed Laser Broadcasting Ltd. Also with Nigel was Project Manager Tim Gill, who has 12 years of experience with the Invicta, Southern and Allied Radio Groups as well as LBC. www.ashfordlocalradio.com
ASHFORD FM: This station appeared regularly since the first outing which commenced 07/07/1996, operating on 106.5, the last of which was held from 18th February 2002. The year 2000 saw the station embark on a campaign for a full time licence for the area - a campaign which was not without reward. In July 2004, the station announced the intention to apply for the Ashford licence. The Wireless Group, operators of national sports station talkSPORT as well as 16 other local radio stations around the UK, supported the bid. Ashford FM is led by the Managing Director, Mark Carter who has overseen all the short-term broadcasts. He has a great deal of experience having worked in journalist and presenter roles for both the BBC and commercial sectors, notably Star 106.6, Neptune Radio, Channel Travel Radio andBBC Radio Kent. Malcolm Triggs runs a local marketing and PR consultancy company 'Go4' and joined the station team in 2003.
The Wireless Group saw Ashford FM as having been "the driving force" behind getting Ashford into OFCOM's list for pending licence advertisements, and provided both business and financial resources, however the group also saw this as part of a longer term strategy to build on it's network of local radio stations. This would have undoubtedly meant eventual acquisition moves and rebranding if the station had been awarded the licence and having allowed it to settle. The bid was also backed by the local newspaper Adscene. This saaw the company's Chief Exec Peter Edwards join the board which also included ex-Invicta Radio Chief Exec Nigel Reeve, ex-Invicta Radio Chairman Richard Sturt, Kent County Councillor Richard King, Charity Organiser Lea Randolph, Ashford Town Centre Manager Chris West, Daniel Jones from Ashford Hospital Radio, and other local businessmen David Parker and Keith Rawlings. Invicta Radio launched with the help of Richard and Nigel, from Ashford-based studios back in the late 1980s. www.ashfordfm.net
EKR (EAST KENT RADIO): www.eastkentradio.co.uk
TIME FM (Ashford) (LMC / Sunrise Radio): www.timefm.com/timeashford.htm
Original Radio Histories:
Below is the original radio histories, still need updating but bought back so people can see how they were originally as of 2002:
Radical Radio....History of Local Radio!
This area has a rich history in local radio from the days of pirate radio of Reculver near Herne Bay to the Twenty First Century with the KMFM network and Digital Radio just about to spring into action.
Came on air in September 1997 covering Canterbury, Herne Bay and Whitstable. KM bought it in 2000 and in Jan 2003 it became KMFM 106. It broadcasts on 106FM.
Owned by Invicta Radio, this station is a contemporary station and in 1997 Capital Radio bought it and have recently started networking shows on the station from the Capital Radio Network of FM stations.
East Kent Radio/Northdown Radio/Invicta Supergold/Coast AM/Coast Classics
This was the other station that broadcast on 603 am and was part of Invicta Radio. It originally broadcast over East Kent on 603AM and was called Northdown Radio and Coast AM and also Coast Classics. Later on an extra frequency was added on 1242 AM and Invicta Super Gold was born.
When Capital Radio bought out the Invicta Radio group they renamed Invicta Super Gold and joined it to the Capital Gold network.
This station started broadcasting in the 1970’s. Channel Radio (the for runner to Neptune Radio now KM-FM) started broadcasting across Dover town. This was a very popular station and although the owner was fined he vowed to keep the station running until a commercial station was founded in the town.
The Sound or Shepway Sound and White Cliffs Sound
This was a successful applicant for an RSL licence in the Dover and Folkestone areas and he started two separate stations to try and get a licence for Folkestone or Dover. This was to persuade the listeners and along with some other presenters they broadcast trial stations (RSL’s) through a period of years ending on the 29th September 1997 at 3.00am. The station was so popular they managed not just to get the Dover licence but Folkestone’s as well. The Sound was born, or was it?
On the 29th September 1997 at 7.00am The Sound was launched as the station for Folkestone (Shepway District) and Dover (White Cliffs Country). This was broadcast on 96.4 and 106.8FM. Neptune’s slogan was originally “The Best Songs and The Big News” and was originally owned and run by South East Radio LTD although Kent Messenger had a holding in the station as well. It was broadcast from studios that were reputed to be one of the oldest buildings in Dover at 8 Church Street (next door to the KM offices).
Neptune Radio was a successful station, winning listeners from the big commercials such as Capital Gold and Invicta FM successfully pulling in over 30,000 listeners a week! Neptune also won The Sony Radio Station of The Year award not just once but twice in 1999 and 2000. They also got the award for Best News Programme for the half hour news show called Neptune Reports. Several of their presenters got awards too including Spencer Cork.
Later on the station was bought by Radio Investments who took Neptune’s award winning formula onto their sister stations Arrow 107.8FM in Hastings and 107.5 Sovereign Radio in Eastbourne. Unfortunately they also tried to start stations in Ashford (Ashford FM – Ashford FM Website) and Maidstone, both though are now independent stations waiting to see whether their application would be accepted. This made Neptune’s evening show automated (The 7-10Bit).
In August 2001 Kent Messenger bought out Radio Investments 60% share in Neptune now making them own the station along with the other stations CTFM in Canterbury and Thanet Local Radio in Thanet. Neptune was reborn as the Best Music Variety and the schedule changed to echo that of CTFM’s and TLR’s. In August 2002 East Kent’s Biggest Jukebox was networked onto Neptune after being on CTFM and TLR. After this the Barry Bethell Club was also networked – was this, the beginning of the end for local radio? – It was!
In January 2003 Neptune Radio was moved to 93-95 Sandgate Road by Kent Messenger Group and so deserted Dover, the town in which it was born. They had transmitter problems though as Shepway Council wouldn’t let them transmit the Dover signal across from Folkestone to the Guston transmitter. Instead they had to put a line in under the ground to their now deserted offices in Dover and transmit it from there.
The end to Neptune was in the air…
Thanet Local Radio (TLR)
TLR came to air after founders Ken Wills, Alan McKaye and Peter Willson gained a licence after successful trial broadcasts. It came to air on January 17th 1998. TLR was one of the first stations bought by Kent Messenger and became Thanet’s KMFM in March 2003.
BBC Radio Kent/BBC Radio Medway
Originally BBC Kent was known as BBC Medway broadcasting to North Kent on 97FM. It later started broadcasting to a wider area and became BBC Radio Kent. It started in the late 1960’s. More information on Radio Kent has now been added below...
When BBC Radio Kent was founded in 1960's it only covered North West Kent from the Thames to Sittingbourne and was originally known as Radio Medway.
There was a small staff group at the station who were supplemented by hundreds of regular contributors from the immediate local community all interested in this new exciting project for the NW Kent area.
Harold Rogers was the stations first manager and he set it on a path that the station would follow for the next 25 years. This was that the station would be a vital part of Kent's life and reflect the county the Men of Kent and the Kentish Men lived in. He was later awarded a OBE for his pioneering efforts at BBC Medway.
Medway became BBC Kent in 1983 when a new transmitter was added to cover East Kent and other areas of Kent not already abled to pick up the station live from the Sun Pier Studios in Chatham.
There are now BBC Kent offices in Canterbury, Chatham, Dover, Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks plus computerised studios in Ashford, Dartford and Gravesend.
Kent is now based in the Great Hall at Tunbridge Wells which is also the home of BBC South East Today and the BBC Kent (see links below) Website.
BBC Kent have covered issues from the great storm in 1987 to Asylum Seekers, Channel Tunnel Rail link and Cliffe Airport debate plus many more focusing on Kent's life providing a local entertainment and lively service for the people of Kent.
Radio Sutch was started by Screaming Lord Sutch and was the birth of British pop music on 299 metres from WW2 Gun towers off Herne Bay. It came to air in 1964 and by September 1964 had become Radio City.
Radio City replaced Radio Sutch in 1964 and was owned by Reg Calvert. After this the frequency changed many times until it became 1034MW. It was reported Radio Caroline was going to takeover but a deal never materialised. After many deals with other radio stations that never happened Reg Calvert was shot in 1966 and the station was forced off the air by government action in 1967.
This started in 1964 when test broadcasts were tried on a number of frequencies. In July 1964 Radio Invicta came to air between 6.00am and 6.00pm. It did not broadcast after 6.00pm because of interference from other stations. The station was owned by Tom Pepper, Charles Evans and John Thompson based at the former army fort in the Thames estuary with offices in Folkestone.
After Invicta closed KING Radio took its place in February 1965. It had test broadcasts on 985MW but closed down in September 1965 but it had an audience of 20,000 listeners.
In September 1965 Radio KING was replaced by Radio 390 after Ted Allbeury took control of KING in March. The station first aired on the 23rd September on 773MW. In 1967 the station closed down after Summonds by the Post Office.
Channel Travel Radio
This station was broadcast on 107.6FM to cover travel news for the channel ports and the M20. It started in 1994 roughly and become bankrupt in 2001, as the Channel Tunnel could no longer afford to run it. It broadcast from the Channel Tunnel Terminal in Folkestone. A sister frequency also covered Calais and Northern France on 106.7FM.
KMFM 106 came on air in January 2003 after Kent Messenger decided to change 106 CTFM’s name to KMFM 106.
West Kent’s KMFM
This was the new name for West Kent’s Mercury FM after it was bought by Kent Messenger.
Medway FM – Medway’s Mercury FM – Medway’s KMFM This station started broadcasting in September 1997 as Medway FM. Later on it was bought by GWR and the name changed to Medway’s Mercury FM. Kent Messenger bought the station the same time they acquired West Kent’s Mercury FM and renamed it Medway’s KMFM.
Since 1998 this station was TLR. In a rebranding scheme by Kent Messenger the name was changed to Thanet’s KMFM in March 2003.
KMFM For Folkestone and Dover Neptune Radio changed its name on the 19th March 2003 to KM-FM for Folkestone and Dover making it sound exactly like the other KM stations. This was after the Saturday Night Party that is on CTFM and TLR was also networked on Neptune. At the same time (the same day even!!) TLR also changed its name to Thanet’s KM-FM and in January 2003 CTFM became KM-FM 106 for Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay.
20/20 FM/CTR FM 105.6
This station was originally a trial station for the Maidstone borough. It was originally known as Festival Radio and covered the Maidstone Festival until it was decided to try and become a local licence for the Maidstone area. This is when it became County Town Radio or CTR. In 1997 though when CTFM came on air in Canterbury the Radio Authority asked CTR to change their name to prevent confusion. The name chosen was 20/20 FM because of Maidstone’s closeness to the A20 and M20 and because a new road through the town was to be called A2020. The station fought off competition from Stone FM, GO-FM, Maidstone Local Radio, and Maid FM otherwise known as Radio For Maidstone and many other groups when it won the local licence for Maidstone in April 2003. The station is came on air on the 18th October 2003 as County Town Radio or CTR FM 105.6.
Below is the weblink for the former 20/20 FM website and the CTR website is in the frequency guide section below.
Web Link: 2020 FM and Kent Messenger Radio
This station has been fighting for many years to become the local radio station for Sittingbourne, Faversham, The Isle of Sheppey and the Swale area. It is still competing to become a local analogue station for the area but has won its battle to be on the new Kent digital multiplex due to come on air in April 2004. It will share its frequency with Totally Radio so the station will be on air 6.00am-6.00pm with Total Rock during overnight programming from their studios at the King’s Head in Fulham, London. Swale Sound is still hoping to become the local licence for the Swale area.
Web link: Swale Sound.co.uk and Swale Sound.com
Digital Radio In Kent
Digital radio is to come to Kent in April 2004 but the coastal areas nearest to France won’t be able to pick up the local digital stations. The multiplex was awarded to Capital Radio PLC in April 2003. The stations that will be on Kent’s digital multiplex will be Capital Radio’s Invicta FM, Capital Radio’s Kent’s Capital Gold, Kent Messenger’s Kent Digital Extra, London station Kiss 100, Swale Sound, Totally Radio, and some community local licences yet to be announced.More information can be found on the Radio Authority’s website: Radio Authority Website
Will Ashford Ever get a local licence?
Ashford is getting closer to getting its local licence covering the district. The town has been added to the Radio Authority’s working list and should be awarded a station in 2004.
Ashford FM started by Radio Investments, the former owners of Neptune Radio (now a KMFM) has so far been successful with many trial broadcasts and I honestly hope this station will get its licence it deserves with the great mix of music and local news. Mark Carter (former DJ from Neptune Radio and Channel Travel Radio) was the manager of the station before Radio Investments gave him full control of the station and it broadcasts yearly on the 106.5FM frequency. Good luck – come on Ashford FM be the local radio for Ashford.
Web Link:Ashford FM
Lark FM owned by Kent Messenger is still also trying to become Ashford’s local licence with a format exactly like the other KMFM’s. This station is very good and sounds like the other KMFM stations but in my opinion I think Ashford FM deserves the licence due to them trying longer and being not linked to any other stations.
There’s not much on the web about Lark FM although some information is on Lark FM
Lark FM's website is now back up and running. They have just finished an RSL trial broadcast in Sept/Oct 2003.
Not much is known about this station except it was on air from late May 2003 for 28 days on the 106.5FM frequency. ALR most probably stands for Ashford Local Radio. I did listen into the station when travelling through Ashford and although not very easy to pick up across the borough it did was easy to pick up in Ashford town. A very good station raising money for local charities and playing a range of music although it did not sound like Ashford FM or Lark FM so could not be either of them broadcasting under a new name.
The River – Will it be Thames side’s local radio?
The River has been campaigning to become the local licence for a number of years and the radio authority have now said there is space on the dial for a new licence in Dartford and Gravesend. The River is ecstatic at this news and hopes to become Thames side’s local radio. The station will provide local news and music from a wide variety to cover the area. I wish them good luck with their bid to become the local licence. You can see the good luck message I sent to the River by clicking on their website and reading the comments section!
Web Link: The River
This station came on air in 1990 but not under the name Millennium 106.8. It broadcasts across Greenwich, Bexley, Bromley and Dartford providing music and news for South West London and North East Kent. The station is owned by Fusion Radio Holdings.
Millennium 106.8 changed its name in early 2003 to Time FM and is now more locally active in its broadcast area and has a wider music range.
Capital Gold 1242MW W Kent, 603MW E Kent Original air date: 27/03/89 Licence Expirary: 31/12/04
Address: Radio House, John Wilson Buisness Park, Whitstable, Kent CT5 3QX
Phone enquires 01227 772004 Fax: 01227 771560 Capital Gold
Owners: Capital Radio Group
BBC Radio Kent 104.2 Dover, 97.6 Folkestone, 96.7 W Kent, 1602MW W Kent, 774MW E Kent Radio Kent
Great Hall, Mount Pleasant Rd, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1QQ
Tel: 01892 670000
Invicta FM 97.0 Dover, 95.9 Thanet, 102.8 Canterbury, 96.1 Ashford, 103.1 Medway/West Kent
Address: Radio House, John Wilson Buisness Park, Whitstable Kent CT5 3QX
Tel enquires 01227 772004 fax: 01227 771560 Invicta FM
Owners: Capital Radio Group
Original air date: 01/10/84 Licence Expiry: 31/12/04
KM-FM 106 Canterbury 106
Address: 16 Lower Bridge Street, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2HQ Now located at 9, St George’s Place, Canterbury (above the KM Offices)
Tel: 01227 789106 (enquires), Fax: 01227 785106 Tel: (on air) 01227 786106
Original air date: 21/09/97 Licence Expiry: 20/09/05
Owners: Kent Messenger
KM-FM For Folkestone and Dover 106.8 Dover, 96.4 Folkestone
Address: 93-95 Sandgate Rd, Folkestone or PO Box 1068, Dover, Kent CT16 1GB (they still use these studios sometimes)
Tel: on air: 01303 240402 Enquires: 01304 202505 Fax: 01304 212717 The new studio numbers are:
Tel: 01303 240402 Enquires: 01303 220303 Fax: 01303 246659
Owners: Kent Messenger Group
Original air date: 29/09/97 Licence Expiry: 28/09/05
Thanet's KM-FM Thanet 107.2
Address: Imperial House,2-14 High Street, Margate, Kent CT9 1DH
Tel: 01843 220222 Fax: 01843 299666
Owners: Kent Messenger
West Kent's KM-FM Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells/Sevenoaks 101.6/96.2
address: 1 East Street, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1AR
Tel: 01732 369200, Fax: 01732 369201
On air date: 08/07/95 Licence Expiry: 07/07/10
Medway's KM-FM Medway 100.4/107.9
Address: Berkeley House, 186 High Street, Rochester, Medway, Kent ME1 1EY
Tel: 01634 841111 Fax: 01634 841122
On air date: 01/09/97 Expiry Date: 31/08/05
All KM-FM stations can be reached via KM-FM'sand clicking on the logo to the particular station. All KMFM's and CTR is owned by Kent Messenger.
CTR FM 105.6 (Maidstone) 105.6FM On air date: 18/10/2003 Licence Expiry: 17/10/2012
CONTACTS: PO Box 500, Maidstone, Kent ME16 8XQ Tel: (Enquires) 01622 726621 Fax: 01622 726621 OWNERS: County Town Radio (CTR)
The trial station was 20/20FM but it has now changed to its original station name of CTR standing for County Town Radio. The website has a web stream so you can listen. I listened on the "On Air" Day and the music and news content is very good. The website has been updated since I last looked with a series of images from launch day to switching on the Christmas lights in Maidstone.
What do YOU think of CTR?
Post your comments in the forum NOW!
Swale Sound (trial is back on air Feb and Aug 2004. Check out the website for more information. Also going to be on digital from April 2004!) Swale Sound
Ashford FM 106.5 (trial) Ashford FM
Lark FM Ashford (trial)
Ashford is to be awarded a station in 2004. Lark FM is owned by Kent Messenger and currently broadcasts across Ashford on 87.9FM during its trial broadcasts. The website is also back up and running!!
The River (trial) Dartford/Gravesend The River
Time FM 106.8 106.8FM Dartford/Greenwich/Bromley and Bexley 2-6 Basildon Rd,Abbey Wood, London, SE2 0EW Tel 020 8311 3112 Fax: 020 8312 1930
ON AIR DATE: 18/03/1990 LICENCE EXPIRY: 31/12/10 OWNERS: Fusion Radio Group Time FM
Digital Radio is to be launched in Kent in April 2004!
The stations that will be on digital in Kent are:
Invicta FM (Capital Radio) Contemporary Music
Capital Gold (Capital Radio) Gold
XFM (Capital Radio) Credible New Music
Kiss 100 (Emap Group) Dance
Saga Radio (Saga) Easy Listening
Kent Digital Extra (KM)
Community Channel TBA
And two community channels sharing the same frequency:
Swale Sound (Swale Sound) broadcasting to Swale between 6.00am to 6.00pm
Totally Radio (Totally Radio) broadcasting 6.00pm - 6.00am Alternative Specialist Music
Low Power and Restricted service licences in Kent
Brands Hatch, 1269 MW – Sports Service
BFBS Nepali Service
Folkestone, 1278 MW - Army service
Sevenoaks, 1350MW – Student Radio
UKCR – University of Kent at Canterbury Radio
Canterbury, 1350MW – Student Radio
Special Event Stations
On air once a year covering Canterbury on 106.5FM and also available in Canterbury Christ Church University College. It is a student radio station that can be listened to online atC4 Radio it can also be picked up on medium wave near to the campus.
Hythe FM 95.1
Hythe FM is on air once a year covering Hythe and Romney Marsh for the Hythe Venetian Fete Festival week. It is usually broadcast on 95.1FM. Up to date information is available at Hythe FM
Swale Radio (Swale Local Radio)
On air once a year to cover the Sittingbourne Festival: Swale Local Radio
HOSPITAL RADIO IN KENT
Gateway Hospital Broadcasting Service:
Oldest hospital station in east Kent founded in 1968 serving Deal and Dover Hospitals. It is also the second oldest in Kent.A history and extensive gallery is avaliable on this site of the presenters. I have been a presenter on this station for 2 years now presenting a Friday Night programme. A great website which has been recently improved. Gateway HBS
Canterbury Hospital Radio: Canterbury HR
Radio Cabin: Herne Bay's hospital radio will be live on air on 105.3FM during Herne Bay's festival fortnight. Check out Radio Cabin for more details.
Radio Victoria serves Folkestone Victoria Hospital: Radio Victoria
Maidstone Hospital Radio recently celebrated its 40th Birthday and is the oldest in Kent: HR Maidstone
Medway Hospital Radio serves Gillingham hospital: Medway HR
Valley Park Radio is Dartford's Hospital Radio Station broadcasting to the Darent Valley Hospital:Valley Park Radio
Radio North Kent serves North Kent Hospital in Gravesend:Radio North Kent
Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells serves Pembury and Tonbridge cottage hospitals: HR Tunbridge Wells
***BBC RADIO KENT LINK AND THE BBC KENT WEBSITE**
Thanks to Robert Wallace managing editor of BBC Radio Kent this link has been added and more information about Radio Kent will be taken from the site, put in my words and placed on here for your enjoyment thanks to Robert Wallace, Managing Editor of Radio Kent