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All change for The Hits following Key 103 rebrand

UPDATE | Manchester's Key 103 is to become "Hits Radio" and become available on various local DAB multiplexes across the country.

The official announcement came this morning and followed intense speculation of an impending rebrand on social media.

Hits Radio will go live on 4th June 2018. There will a national version, carried on various local DAB multiplexes, on Freeview and online. In Manchester, the current Key 103 becomes a localised version of Hits Radio containing local news, weather and travel.

This launch will see Hits Radio become the flagship station of the Bauer City Network which will be renamed the Hits Radio Network.

The Hits Radio Network will incorporate Bauer’s heritage brands: these include Nottingham‘s Gem, Newcastle’s Metro Radio, Liverpool’s Radio City, Glasgow’s Clyde 1 and Edinburgh’s Forth, in addition to the national Hits Radio.

In a press release Dee Ford, Group Managing Director Bauer Radio said: 
“Hits Radio has been informed by audience insight, combined with our talented programming instinct that unearthed a need for a fresh, exciting national radio brand. This family-friendly audience seek a brilliant alternative to what is currently on offer, and the new Hits Radio station and expanded Hits Radio Network will offer a simple way for commercial partners to reach them”.

It's the latest in a series of changes for The Hits Radio: the station briefly became aligned with local radio stations in northern England and Scotland, where The Hits was rebranded as the third service of each area's main stations, e.g Hallam 3, Viking 3, before reverting back to The Hits. The Freeview version of the station retained The Hits name throughout.