Sangean ATS-909, Oona Raisanen (2006)

Taking Back Control of Independent Local Radio

Is there space for truly independent Independent Local Radio in the UK?

Contrary to popular belief, radio is a more popular medium than ever. Today, the listener has more ways of tuning in to their favourite station than ever before. Not only on LW, MW or FM wavelengths and DAB channels. Other mediums include Internet radio, digital satellite and cable channels, and dedicated apps.

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Must-Listen Alternative Radio Stations: The Not So Perfect Ten

East of the M60 looks at ten must-listen-to alternatives to more familiar radio stations

Philips 170A - warm glow
A radio. A proper radio. The warm glow of a Philips 170A, photographed by Ronan Cantwell, 2011 (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Non Commercial-Some Rights Reserved).

In the last month, we have seen Key 103 change into The Hits Radio. Its transmission area has been extended from Greater Manchester and parts of Cheshire and Lancashire to become a national station. A national station with its headquarters in Manchester rather than London.

On 103.0 FM it is a ‘local’ station with Manchester-centric news, weather, and travel reports. The same music which can be heard in Stalybridge on the FM band, could also be heard in Stevenage on your DAB receiver. With nationwide adverts. A bit like London’s opt-out with LBC, a national station since 2014 (please note that LBC stood for London Broadcasting Company).

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A Tameside radio.

‘Rough Streets’ Sweep Community Radio Awards

Two Gold Awards for Tameside Radio, and a Silver Award for Oldham Community Radio

At the 2017 Community Radio Awards, it was a good night for Tameside Radio and Oldham Community Radio at The Station in Bristol. Both Tameside Radio and Oldham Community Radio were nominated for three awards and picked up two apiece. Continue reading “‘Rough Streets’ Sweep Community Radio Awards”

Oldham and Tameside Stations Shine at Community Radio Awards

Local stations dominate nationwide awards ceremony at Birmingham

A Real Radio: the Roberts R707 portable radio receiver. Image by Adam Foster, 2012 (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

For the volunteers at Oldham Community Radio, Tameside Radio, and Pure 107.9 FM (Stockport), it was a memorable night at the Community Radio Awards. The award ceremony, the first of its kind for British community radio stations took place at Birmingham City University. Continue reading “Oldham and Tameside Stations Shine at Community Radio Awards”

Ringing the Frequency Changes: AM to FM and DAB to DAB+

Personal musings on broadcast radio frequency changes


Vintage radio image by Jeff Holt, 2012. (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Some Rights Reserved)


Before I went to bed, I learned about the possibility of more tasty radio stations coming my way. “Whoop whoop I thought,” thinking my erstwhile DAB receiver would benefit from a few new stations, using the DAB+ system. Then I realised the only one I would have been likely to listen to was Steve Penk’s Wind-Up channel. Chris Country was definitely out, so my opinions on the Manchester digital multiplex’s selection was met with a “meh”.
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Tameside Reporter Returns to Ashton

Tameside Radio also follows suit as Quest Media Group moves operations to Cavendish Mill annexe

Another chapter in the Tameside Reporter’s history continues as they leave Stalybridge, headquarters to both Tameside Reporter and Glossop Chronicle titles since 1986.

After a 28 year sojourn on Acres Lane, Stalybridge, the Tameside Reporter is set to return to its roots in Ashton-under-Lyne this coming Monday [29 September 2014]. In tow will be its sister newspaper, the Glossop Chronicle, and Tameside Radio, who have used the modern offices as a temporary studio in the last year. Continue reading “Tameside Reporter Returns to Ashton”

Live from Harrop Edge: The History of Local Radio in Tameside

A history of local radio in the Tameside area

Stalybridge. The Tower of Power, on Harrop Edge.
Live from Harrop Edge: Photograph by Frank Bennett ARPS. (Creative Commons Attribution License)

In 2011, we have a cornucopia of radio stations to play with, whether on analogue or digital form. From niche internet radio stations to national stations, there are literally hundreds of stations at our disposal. Like most multichannel households it could almost be a case of 52 channels and nothing on.

It is hard to imagine that as recently as the mid-1990s, Tameside lacked a truly local radio station to call its own. This was addressed to some extent when Revolution 96.2 FM won the licence to broadcast in Rochdale, Oldham and Tameside in 1999. Eight years later, this was remedied by the launch of Tameside Radio on the 30 September 2007 – symbolically and exactly 40 years on from the launch of BBC Radio One.

The launch of Tameside Radio, nor the launch of Revolution 96.2 doesn’t mark the Year Zero Moment of local broadcasting in Tameside. In events with similar parallels to the dawn of independent local radio, pirates identified this gap in the market some time beforehand. Continue reading “Live from Harrop Edge: The History of Local Radio in Tameside”