Q: What is happening to my local station?
A: Bauer Media is creating the largest commercial radio network in the UK. The Hits Radio Brand Network is expanding due to the integration of Lincs FM, Celador Radio, UKRD and ex-Wireless local stations, acquired by Bauer in 2019.
Q: What does this mean for my local station?
A: Joining the Hits Radio Network will ensure that stations will be able to continue to provide the elements of local content that listeners value most, whilst securing long-term viability. The changes will mean that:
- Stations will deliver the optimum mix of local content that listeners highly value alongside content from nationally known presenters.
- We can provide advertisers with a premium brand environment with the scale, simplicity and strength of a national brand network – while also retaining local advertising opportunities for clients
- Bauer are able to secure a more stable future for many local stations, to ensure they can keep on broadcasting for years to come
- Listeners can soon access their station on more digital platforms - including DAB digital radio, where possible
Q: Will my local station be changing its name?
A: We are not a one-sized fits all business and refer to audience needs in every area. Plans have been carefully evaluated for every station that we acquired.
- The majority of stations will be rebranded to Greatest Hits Radio in September.
- A small number of stations will retain their local branding.
You can read up the changes happening to your local station here.
Q: Why are you making these changes?
A: Bauer Media’s priority is to create a digital future for radio. The world is changing, and consumers are increasingly migrating towards digital platforms. These platforms are fantastic as they offer lots more choice for audiences, however this growth in digital listening has come at a cost to many traditional local radio stations who are struggling to compete in this increasingly competitive, digital and voice-activated world.
Our changes provide a clear digital future for all stations. Without action, many stations may become economically unviable in the future as audience habits continue to change. To ensure our listeners have access to their local services for years to come, we must update the offering, reimagining it for the future. Stations will deliver the optimum mix of local content that listeners highly value alongside content from nationally known presenters.
Q: Why are you making these changes now?
A: We must consider the immediate commercial viability of these stations and make the necessary efficiencies. Covid-19 is not the driver, but it has amplified and accelerated our plans. We are in unchartered territory and sadly postponing decisions would likely jeopardise the future of these stations. Our priority is to ensure everyone is treated with fairness and respect and supported throughout this time.
Q: What does this mean for the presenters and staff at my local station?
A: We are in a period of consultation with all presenters and staff affected by the changes. Sadly, there will be roles that are placed ‘at risk’ as part of this process and freelance contracts will be reviewed. We cannot discuss individual contracts however, we are focused on achieving the right balance of quality local elements that listeners place the most value on, alongside new and engaging nationally known presenters. Our priority is to ensure everyone is treated with fairness and respect and supported throughout this time
Q: Will local content be cut?
A: Stations will deliver all the local content that listeners value the most, such as local news, traffic and travel and other local information such as local events and community action alongside content from nationally known presenters.
Q: Why has the schedule on my station changed?
A. From July 13th, some of our local stations will begin to introduce Greatest Hits or Hits Radio programming. This means that on some stations you’ll hear new exciting shows from well-established presenters including Mark Goodier, Pat Sharp and Alex Lester (Greatest Hits Radio stations) or Wes Butters, Gemma Atkinson and Fleur East (Hits Radio stations).
Q. What does this mean for the presenters on my station?
A. All current Breakfast shows are retained on the stations, however as certain stations now feature an updated schedule, freelance presenter contracts will be coming to an end, with staff presenters under consultation.
We cannot comment on individual roles, but we do want to share a huge thanks to all presenters, and we wish them the very best for the future. These changes in no way diminish their achievements but merely reflect the changing market in which we operate.
Q: How will this affect the music played on my station?
A: We have carefully evaluated the offering for each station and have picked the one we believe suits audience needs best. The station will follow either one of two formats:
- Hits Radio - delivering a music proposition which is a soundtrack of the biggest hits and nostalgic throwback tracks and local breakfast shows.
- Greatest Hits Radio - offering classic hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s alongside regional drive time and networked breakfast shows.
We are starting to introduce our music across some of our stations from July 13th, so you may notice a slightly altered playlist.
Q. My station is rebranding to Greatest Hits Radio in September. Why have I already started hearing GHR programming?
A. We recognise that the rebrand is a significant change for these stations and so where possible we wanted to introduce our audiences to our Greatest Hits Radio programming ahead of time.
Q. Why are changes happening now to some stations but not all?
A. A large number of stations are transitioning, which involves a lot of work behind the scenes, so we need to do that in a phased way across different groups of stations.
Q. Will my station still be involved in local community activity, including charity work?
A. Yes. All stations will continue to be engaged in local charitable activity, retain their presence in the community and reflect the major events and stories that we agree are important to listeners. While it is too early to talk about specific activity, please be assured that we shall keep listeners updated in due course.
Q: How can I find out more about the specific changes at my radio station?
A: You can find out more about the proposed changes here. Please note that we will be unable to provide additional information on individual roles or our HR process.
Q: I have more questions or concerns that I want to share, who do I contact?
A: Please email email@example.com