National radio station Heart officially arrives in Cornwall this Bank Holiday Monday. From today, it will transmit on FM and DAB digital radio using Atlantic FM's former transmitters across Cornwall. The version of Heart on DAB digital radio in Cornwall will be switched to the Cornish feed. National versions of Heart will continue on Freeview channel 728 and on satellite.
The station change comes just six weeks after the owners of Atlantic FM sold the station to Global Radio who operate the Heart network of stations alongside Capital, Xfm and Gold.
During the past week, Atlantic entered a transitional phase, as is custom when radio stations change brands, whereby the Atlantic name was phased out. The final regular programmes from Atlantic's HQ in St Agnes was marked by a "week of lasts" theme. Non-stop presenterless music followed for much of the weekend, although there was one final opportunity for the Atlantic presenters to get together for a final show on Sunday morning. Audio drop outs on the station were reported late last week, possibly indicating a transfer of the feed from St Agnes to Heart South West HQ in Exeter. Atlantic's RDS on FM changed to Heart a few days early, before being rectified.
Atlantic's Twitter feed turned into a Heart Cornwall feed, whilst the Atlantic Facebook page was deactivated. The new website currently points to a generic Heart South West facebook page.
In line with other Heart network stations, most of the programming will originate from London, with regionalised opt outs for news, travel and weather, plus regionalised breakfast and drive time programmes, plus a four hour regionally presented programme at the weekend. Heart Cornwall will join forces with Heart Devon in Exeter for a south-west wide service, but with a separate drive time show for Cornwall presented by ex-Atlantic FM presenter Victoria Leigh, due to the increased speech requirements for the ex-Atlantic FM licence compared to other stations in the Heart network. It is expected that a request to regulator Ofcom will be made in the future to bring the requirements in line with other Heart stations.