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End of Absolute in W Mids as Ofcom approves station changes


Absolute Radio's days on FM in the West Midlands are numbered, after Ofcom approves a format change.

As part of the planned switch, expected to take place in the next few months, Absolute Classic Rock is set to replace Free Radio 80s in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Telford and Shrewsbury.

Following Ofcom's approval, the format of the service on 105.2 FM can now switch to a Greatest Hits Radio service from the current Rock music-based service delivered by Absolute Radio.

The decision follows a public consultation, which produced mixed results from members of the public about the proposed changes.

In a statement issued this morning, the broadcast regulator confirmed it had approved a request by the radio group Bauer Media to change the format of its regional FM and local AM services in the West Midlands region. Ofcom confirmed that it thought  the proposed changes would "not narrow the range of programmes available to listeners in the West Midlands and North Shropshire areas".

DAB digital radio listeners will continue to be able to access Absolute Radio via the national Digital One multiplex. Absolute Classic Rock is already distributed on the Birmingham local DAB multiplex.


What's changing?
  • West Midlands FM licence (currently Absolute Radio) – change from a ‘rock-orientated’ service to a ‘classic pop hits’ service, with a requirement for local production and content added. 
  • Birmingham AM licence (currently Free Radio 80s) – change from a ‘classic pop hits’ service to a ‘classic rock’ service with existing local production and content requirements removed. 
  • Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury & Telford AM licence (currently Free Radio 80s) - change from a ‘classic pop hits’ service to a ‘classic rock’ service with existing local production and content requirements removed.
(source: Ofcom)

Absolute Radio's FM frequency was previously used to transmit Kerrang and Planet Rock across the region.






  • Updated 11:28 01/11/2018




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