97.4 Rock FM
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (January 2012)|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2008)|
|City of license||Preston|
DAB (223.93 MHz)
|First air date||5 October 1982|
|Audience share||7.5% (December 2012, )|
|Sister stations||Magic 999|
|Website||97.4 Rock FM|
97.4 Rock FM is an Independent Local Radio station broadcasting to Lancashire, North West England and some parts of North Wales. Its output is mainly contemporary pop and current chart hits. The station is owned & operated by Bauer Radio and forms part of Bauer's Place Network of stations. The total survey area of the station for RAJAR is broadly defined as western, southern and central Lancashire including parts of Greater Manchester and Merseyside. But the station is audible on FM from Cumbria down into Wales and towards The West Midlands.
Rock FM (and its sister AM station Magic 999) broadcast from studios based at a converted church (St. Paul's) in Preston. The station can be received across most of north west England and North Wales. Rock FM consistently rates as the number one commercial radio station in its target service area by reach, share and hours. Over a quarter of all adults in its market listen every week.
In 1990, Red Rose Radio, which was transmitted on 97.4 MHz and 999 kHz, was split into two stations - Red Rose Rock FM using the FM frequency and Red Rose Gold on the medium wave frequency. The managing director was Dave Lincoln, with John Myers as programme director, and at that time the station was owned by the Miss World Group, later known as TransWorld Communications (owned by Owen Oyston) and which subsequently became part of Bauer Radio (previously EMAP Radio).
In early 2010, it was announced that Adam Catterall would be leaving the station's breakfast show: it was subsequently confirmed that he would be replaced by former Xfm London, Galaxy Yorkshire, and Absolute Radio presenter Graeme Smith and Jude Vause-Walsh, returning to the FM station after several years on Century 105 & Real Radio.
18 months later, the station announced drivetime presenters Hywel Evans and Jamie Atherton would move to the breakfast slot from Monday 26 September 2011 with Smith moving to Drivetime and Jude Vause-Walsh leaving the station. Smith left the station in May 2012 but continued as a weekend presenter on Key 103, as a breakfast presenter on the group's national digital station The Hits Radio, and appearing on BBC Five Live as a reporter. In 2011, the station announced tha arrival of Tim Shaw to host weekend afternoons. Shaw had previously hosted edgy late night zoo format shows on Absolute Radio and Kerrang Radio and is reputedly one of the most controversial radio presenters in the world.
In:Demand, overnights and Saturday evening/night are networked and the weekday late show are simulcast from Key 103 in Manchester. The Vodafone Big Top 40 is syndicated from Capital in Leicester Square, London.