Bauer City & National

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Bauer City & Bauer National are the names given to two radio networks owned and operated by Bauer Radio. City incorporates 36 local radio stations in northern and southern England and Scotland while National incorporates six national or semi-national music genre stations.

The main rival networks are Global Radio's Heart network (serving 22 stations) and Capital network (serving nine stations) in Wales, the English Midlands and Southern England. Both Global networks play a differing music format, have not retained their original heritage branding and in most cases, incorporate a greater reliance on networked programming.


The Place network was originally known as the Big City Network. In 2006, many of the former Scottish Radio Holdings stations were added to the network and branded as Big City Network Scotland and Northern Ireland, although all stations kept their original logos, with the exception of CFM. West Sound was the only AM station in the network although it did not carry any of the networked programming carried by the FM stations.

In April 2011 Bauer Radio announced it would be restructuring its radio portfolio into two divisions: locally-focused and heritage stations, including many of the Big City stations, South Coast station Wave 105 and London station Magic 105.4 FM would also become part of the "Bauer Place" division, with branded music-category stations such as Kiss and Kerrang Radio forming a second sub-brand, "Bauer Passion" - the Big City Network identity was dropped as part of the restructuring.[1]

In April 2013, Bauer announced it would merge its two North East England stations, Metro Radio and TFM. Both stations broadcast shared programming from Newcastle and Manchester while carrying separate branding, news bulletins and advertising.[2]

In September 2014, Bauer announced it would be restructuring its radio portfolio as from January 2015. Magic AM in England will be dropped in favour of the stations reverting back to the heritage station name. These stations will then form part of the new 'City 2' network and there will also be a 'City 3' network on DAB replacing The Hits Radio.

Bauer City Network[edit]

On 5 January 2015 sister stations within the Bauer City network such as Metro Radio and Magic 1158 will be renamed to Metro Radio 1 and Metro Radio 2.[3][4]

Station name
(City 1)
Station name
(City 2)
Based in Transmission area(s) Original Air-date
Magic 105.4 FM N/A London London (also nationally on Digital TV) 9 July 1990
Key 1 Key 2 Manchester Greater Manchester and Cheshire 2 April 1974
Metro Radio 1 Metro Radio 2 Newcastle Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and County Durham 15 July 1974
Hallam 1 Hallam 2 Sheffield South Yorkshire and the North Midlands 1 October 1974
Radio City 1 Radio City 2 Liverpool Merseyside, Cheshire and North East Wales 21 October 1974
TFM 1 TFM 2 Newcastle Teesside, County Durham and parts of North Yorkshire 24 June 1975
Radio Aire 1 Radio Aire 2 Leeds West Yorkshire 1 September 1981
Rock 1 Rock 2 Preston Lancashire 5 October 1982
Viking 1 Viking 2 Kingston upon Hull East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire 17 April 1984
CFM N/A Carlisle North & Central Cumbria and parts of Dumfries & Galloway 14 April 1993
City Talk 105.9 N/A Liverpool Merseyside, Cheshire and North East Wales 28 January 2008
Wave 105 N/A Fareham Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and part of West Sussex 14 June 1998
Clyde 1 Clyde 2 Clydebank Glasgow and West Central Scotland 31 December 1973
Forth 1 Forth 2 Edinburgh Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife 22 January 1975
Tay 1 Tay 2 Dundee Tayside and north east Fife 17 October 1980
Northsound 1 Northsound 2 Aberdeen Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire 27 July 1981
MFR 1 MFR 2 Inverness Moray, Orkney and the Highlands 23 February 1982
Radio Borders N/A Tweedbank Scottish Borders and North Northumberland 22 January 1990
West Sound FM West Sound Dumfries Dumfries & Galloway 21 May 1990
West FM Ayr Ayrshire 6 January 1997
Cool FM Downtown Radio Newtownards Northern Ireland 16 March 1976

Bauer National stations[edit]

Station name Based in FM broadcast areas Digital broadcasts Transmission Date
Heat Radio London - Nationally on Digital TV, online, selected areas on DAB 25 September 2007
The Hits Radio Manchester - 2003
Kerrang Radio London - 10 June 2004
Kiss London London, Severn Estuary, East Anglia Nationally on Digital TV, online, DAB 1 September 1990
Planet Rock London West Midlands 1999

Former stations in the Bauer music portfolio include Q Radio, closed in 2013 and replaced by Kisstory, as well as Mojo Radio, a blues/soul & rock station based on the magazine of the same name, Smash Hits Radio, and country station 3C which was acquired as part of the then-Emap's takeover of Scottish Radio Holdings; following 3C's closure, it was replaced on Freeview for a time by Clyde 1.

Networked programming[edit]


On Saturday 3 October 2014, a new schedule of networked programming was introduced to Bauer Place stations in England and Scotland.[5]

The Vodafone Big Top 40 is produced by Global Radio in Leicester Square, London for broadcast on 145 commercial radio stations in the UK.

Day Time Main presenter(s)/programme Station(s) Location
Sunday–Thursday 1900 – 2200 In:Demand with Stu Tolan Exc. MFR. Clyde 1 opts
in from 20:00 due to local programming
(Super Scoreboard)
Monday–Friday 1400 – 1500 Old Skool & Anthems with Neil Bentley Exc. MFR
Friday 1900 – 2200 Friday Night Floorfillers with James Barr Exc. MFR. Clyde 1 opts in from 20:00 due
to local programming (Super Scoreboard).
2200 - 0100 Steve Furnell Exc. MFR Newcastle
Saturday 0900 – 1200 Andrew 'Boogie' Bouglas and David 'Dingo' Konov Edinburgh
1800 – 2200 Old Skool & Anthems with Graeme Park Exc. MFR and Clyde 1 Manchester
2200 – 0200 Dave Kelly
Sunday 0900 – 1200 Paddy McGuinness
1600 – 1900 The Vodafone Big Top 40: Marvin Humes & Kat Shoob Leicester Square, London
2200 - 0100 Kate Lawler Exc. Metro and TFM Manchester


Bauer Place stations in the North of England carry semi-networked and/or networked programming; in some cases production is voice-tracked with a Bauer Passion station. This usually occurs on weekday evenings and overnights. All local programming on Metro Radio is shared with TFM and broadcast from Newcastle.

Day Time Main presenter(s)/programme Notes Location
Sunday–Thursday 2200–0100 Kate Lawler Exc. Metro & TFM Manchester
Monday–Friday 0100–0600 Alex Duffy Syndicated with Heat.
Metro & TFM opt in from 0200
Saturday 0100–0600 Jonny Chambers
Steff Todd
CFM, Metro & TFM only.
Key 103, Radio City & Rock FM only.
Hallam FM, 96.3 Radio Aire & 96.9 Viking FM only.
Sunday 0200–0600
Saturday 0600–0900 Stuart Elmore & Kelly Hinch Newcastle
1200–1400 The Hot 20: Darren Proctor Manchester
Sunday 0600–0900 Alex James


The Bauer City FM stations in Scotland carry networked programming on Sunday - Friday evenings, overnights and weekend mornings. Networked output is produced from the studios of Clyde 1 in Glasgow and Forth 1 studios in Edinburgh.

Day Time Main presenter(s)/programme Notes Location
Monday-Thursday 2200-0100 Fiona Shields Glasgow
Monday–Friday 0100–0600 Michael Smith
Saturday Fat Brestovca
Sunday Ryan Borthwick
Saturday 0600–0900 Grant Thomson
1200–1400 Scotland's Hot 20: Greig Easton Exc. MFR Edinburgh
Sunday 0600–0900 Diane Knox-Campbell Glasgow

Other stations[edit]

The Magic AM stations in Northern England share 20 hours a day of programming; with three separate regional breakfast shows for the North East, North West and Yorkshire stations.

City Talk 105.9 in Liverpool does not air the CHR networked programming, but does carry the Big Top 40 Show, and simulcasts Pete Price's late night phone-in (Sunday to Thursday nights) plus the regular football coverage with sister Liverpool station Radio City.

Since 2013, all Bauer AM stations in Scotland have operated a shared schedule of networked programming 24 hours a day, known as The Greatest Hits Network, with opt outs for local news, travel bulletins and sports coverage - including live football commentaries on Saturday afternoons. MFR Two on 1170 AM joined the network in September 2014, replacing its previous schedule of through-the-day automated music and specialist output in the evenings.

Magic 105.4 FM and Wave 105 are completely locally-scheduled and do not carry any of the networked programming. The two Northern Irish stations, Cool FM and Downtown Radio, also air locally produced programming 24 hours a day, with the exception of the Big Top 40 chart, carried on Cool FM each Sunday.


The three Kiss stations now carry largely simulcast programming content from London, but retain the ability to split for localised news and advertising.


  1. ^ "Bauer drops Big City image", Radio Today, 14 Apr 2011
  2. ^ TFM leaves Teesside to share with Metro, RadioToday, 5 April 2013
  3. ^ Greatest Hits Network Change request form Ofcom
  4. ^ Magic Changes Ofcom Request Form Ofcom
  5. ^ Weekly Bauer show for Paddy McGuinness Radio Today, 28 August 2014

External links[edit]