Bauer purchase sees end of Imagine FM
Months after the purchase of Revolution 96.2 FM from Credible Media, Like Media Group’s Imagine Radio was swallowed up by Bauer’s Greatest Hits Radio juggernaut. The sale of its flagship station, alongside sister stations, Ashbourne Radio and High Peak Radio was confirmed on the Radio Today website.
By the Autumn or Winter of this year, Imagine Radio, High Peak Radio and Ashbourne Radio will be known as Greatest Hits Radio Stockport and Cheshire, and Greatest Hits Radio High Peak and the Derbyshire Dales. Both High Peak Radio and Ashbourne Radio started out as community radio stations.
Imagine Radio has its roots in pirate radio. Before being Imagine Radio, it was Signal Cheshire – an additional service to the second generation ILR station for Staffordshire, Signal Radio. Before then, it was KFM. KFM started out as a pirate station in 1984 before going legit in 1990. After going legit as KFM, its Staffordshire-based owners changed its name to Signal Cheshire, which was more helpful to advertisers.
One of KFM’s most famous alumnae is Craig Cash, who went on to co-write and co-star in The Royle Family.
In the last year, Greatest Hits Radio has relinquished its AM service on 1152kHz, inherited from Bauer’s ownership of Magic 1152. By the end of 2021, Greatest Hits Radio will have two FM frequencies in Greater Manchester: 104.9 FM and 96.2 FM. In Tameside, it will be possible to tune into any of the two frequencies with perfectly clear signals.
The changes will see the loss of popular local presenters – as seen with the sale of Revolution 96.2 FM. Especially its breakfast show host Spence MacDonald, who was also well liked on Piccadilly Key 103.
On the Radio Today website, the Managing Director of Like Media Group Ryan Davies said: “It’s been great fun developing Imagine Radio over the last couple of years, and working with the fantastic team that we have and I know each of them will continue to thrive.
“The sale wasn’t an easy decision for us, however it allows the remaining Like Media Group team to fully focus on the other projects that we have underway. We would like thank Dee and the Bauer team and wish them all the very best with the Hits Radio Brand network.”
We would like to thank everyone at Imagine Radio for making the station a great success and a joy to listen to since 1998. What set Imagine Radio apart from its bigger rivals was its playlist. Often eclectic and having considerably more than the Commercial Radio Stations Having The Same Ten Tracks An Hour trope.
S.V., 17 June 2021.