Smooth North East
|Slogan||Your Relaxing Music Mix|
|Frequency||97.5 MHz (Main),
101.2 MHz (Hexham),
107.5 MHz (Newcastle/Gateshead),
107.7 MHz (Teesside),
DAB - MXR North East, MXR Yorkshire
|First air date||8 January 2008|
|Sister stations||Capital North East
Heart North East
|Website||Smooth North East|
Smooth North East is a regional radio station owned by Communicorp and operated by Global Radio as part of the Smooth radio network. It broadcasts to North East England from studios in Team Valley, Gateshead.
GMG Radio ownership
The licence for the station was originally awarded to the Saga Radio Group. However, GMG Radio inherited it following its purchase of Saga in December 2006. GMG had been granted permission by the regulator, Ofcom, to change the format of its Smooth FM stations in London and Manchester, and took the decision to change both the Smooth FM and Saga Stations to a new brand, Smooth Radio. All stations concerned ceased broadcasting on Friday 23 March 2007, and were replaced the following Monday by the new network.
Test transmissions for Smooth North East began on 22 November 2007, and an advertising campaign was launched in the region from Boxing Day. This included television commercials featuring images of some of the music industry's most notable artists, such as Buddy Holly, Diana Ross and Rod Stewart. The station launched at 8am on 8 January 2008. The music format of the station was middle of the road, adult contemporary music, aimed at an audience aged 45 and over.
In 2010 GMG announced that it would be merging its five Smooth stations in England to create a nationwide Smooth Radio service based in Manchester. The new station was launched on 4 October 2010 and could be heard both on DAB and on the locally on the FM frequencies.
Global Radio franchisee under Communicorp ownership
Smooth Radio's output was relocated to new owner Global Radio's Leicester Square headquarters from 1 October 2013, a move that coincided with a major overhaul of its schedule, and the closure of Smooth 70s after 21 months on air.
On 4 February 2014, the Radio Today website reported that Ofcom had given Global Radio permission to remove Smooth from the Digital One platform, and to replace it with a service playing music from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Under this agreement, Smooth would continue to broadcast on its regional frequencies, but would be required to provide seven hours of local output per day.
Global Radio employs broadcast journalists in the Team Valley, Gateshead studios who are shared across three regional radio stations. Local news bulletins are produced and broadcast every half-hour between 6am and 9am during Smooth Breakfast and every half-hour between 4pm and 6:30pm during weekday drivetime.
Senior Broadcast Journalist
NB: LBC News 1152 in London produces news bulletins on the hour at all other times for all Smooth Radio stations.
- "Global welcomes Smooth Radio to London HQ". Radio Today. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
- "Smooth Radio 70s to close after 21 months". Radio Today. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
- Sandle, Paul (6 February 2014). "Denis O'Brien buys eight UK radio stations from Global Radio". Reuters. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Smooth Radio to be removed from Digital 1". Radio Today. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Smooth North East
- A smooth star is born in the North East (GMG Radio press release about the launch from August 2007)
- Smooth Radio starts testing (Radio Today, 18 December 2007)