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What's new on the airwaves?

bandscan:uk  ► the week on the radio airwaves

In this edition of bandscan:uk, a look at some of the changes and additions so far this month on DAB digital radio and FM.

Has now taken over the ex-Heart/Marcher/Champion frequencies in North Wales and the Wirral.

It's not available on DAB via the NE Wales multiplex (VHF Block 10D), but a version of the station is being carried on Liverpool's DAB multiplex (VHF block 11B), which has limited coverage into North East Wales.

On FM, listeners can tune in on

96.3   Llandduno / North Wales Coast - Great Ormes Head transmitter.
97.1   Wirral - Storeton transmitter
103.0 Anglesey and Gwynedd - Arfon transmitter.
103.4 Wrexham and West Cheshire - Wrexham-Rhos transmitter

The Anglesey and Gwynedd service - Capital Cymru - also has to broadcast Welsh-language tracks. It also opt-outs for longer from the main London based service, with 8 hours of locally originated programming at the weekend and 10 hours during the week. (Typically local versions of national stations carry 4 hours of local programming at the weekend and 7 hours during the week, as per Ofcom rules.) Capital North Wales Coast (Llandudno and surrounding areas) has an opt-out between 5 and 6am on weekdays.

...has now taken over from Real Radio in Wales, Northern England and Central Scotland.

Heart: now covering the entire FM band.

In the Wirral, listeners should choose the service on 105.4 for North West England. The service on 106.9 from Moel-Y-Parc transmitter in Wales carries North Wales opt-outs.

On DAB, Heart has replaced Real Radio. In Cardiff and Newport, the national version of Heart is no longer on DAB now that Heart South Wales has replaced Real Radio.

On FM, a straightforward change from Real to Heart has taken place, except in North Wales where listeners must now retune to continue listening to Heart - detailed below. Here, the station now covers more of North and Mid Wales, and is a single service for the whole area.

Welsh language output, previously on Heart, is now on Capital (see above).

The change means there's no longer Wales-wide commercial radio service on FM. Real's old South Wales frequencies now carry separate programmes at breakfast and drivetime.

88.0   Wrexham - Wrexham Rhos transmitter
102.8 Welshpool - Long Mountain transmitter
105.7 Llandudno / North Wales Coast - Great Ormes Head transmitter
106.0 Newtown - Llandinam transmitter
106.9 North East Wales - Moel-Y-Parc transmitter
107.2 Anglesey and Gwynedd - Arfon transmitter
107.3 Prestatyn - Gwaenysgor transmitter
107.7 Aberystwyth - Blaenplwyf trasmitter

Eklipse Sports Radio
After a long delay, the station launched on Bank Holiday Monday, 5th May for listeners in Central Scotland. Scotland's new sport and rock station can be heard on DAB digital radio via the Central Scotland multiplex (VHF Block 11D).  Multiplex coverage map from UTV DAB

Radio 1035 and Radio 1458
The stations, on the AM/MW frequencies previously used for 'Sunrise Radio' and 'Kismat Radio', have under new ownership returned to DAB digital radio in London, via the London 3 DAB multiplex.

The return of the stations follows Ofcom giving the green light to Lyca Media's takeover of the stations.

There is still a Sunrise Radio in London - operated by the old owner but on the former Buzz Asia AM frequency 963/972 kHz. The DAB outlet on London 1 fell silent when earlier this year. Earlier this year, BizAsia reported that the transfer of Sunrise Radio to Buzz Asia's frequencies had triggered an Ofcom investigation.

Smooth Radio
Ahead of the station's departure from national DAB, Smooth Radio has been added to the Yorkshire DAB multiplex (VHF Block 12A), which will enable digital radio listeners to continue listening when the changes happen. Manchester's Real Radio XS was removed to make way for Smooth Radio in Yorkshire.

Yorkshire is one of the main parts of the UK where the station does not have a presence of either FM or AM/MW. However, the Yorkshire multiplex is scheduled to close on 30th June 2015, so the long term future for Smooth Radio is still unknown.


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