Bauer Place & Passion

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Bauer Place & Bauer Passion are the names given to two radio networks owned and operated by Bauer Radio. Place incorporates 36 local radio stations in northern and southern England and Scotland while Passion 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]

Bauer Place stations[edit]

Station name Based in Transmission area(s) AM sister station Original Air-date
Magic 105.4 FM London London (also nationally on Digital TV) 9 July 1990
Key 103 Manchester Greater Manchester and Cheshire Piccadilly Magic 1152 2 April 1974
Metro Radio Newcastle Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and County Durham Magic 1152 15 July 1974
Hallam FM Sheffield South Yorkshire and the North Midlands Magic AM 1 October 1974
Radio City 96.7 Liverpool Merseyside, Cheshire and North East Wales Magic 1548 21 October 1974
TFM Newcastle Teesside, County Durham and parts of North Yorkshire Magic 1170 24 June 1975
96.3 Radio Aire Leeds West Yorkshire Magic 828 1 September 1981
97.4 Rock FM Preston Lancashire Magic 999 5 October 1982
96.9 Viking FM Kingston upon Hull East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire Magic 1161 17 April 1984
CFM Radio Carlisle North & Central Cumbria and parts of Dumfries & Galloway 14 April 1993
City Talk 105.9 Liverpool Merseyside, Cheshire and North East Wales Magic 1548 28 January 2008
Wave 105 Fareham Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and part of West Sussex 14 June 1998
102.5 Clyde 1 Clydebank Glasgow and West Central Scotland Clyde 2 31 December 1973
97.3 Forth One Edinburgh Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife 1548 Forth 2 22 January 1975
Tay FM Dundee Tayside and north east Fife Tay AM 17 October 1980
Northsound 1 Aberdeen Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Northsound 2 27 July 1981
West Sound AM Ayr Ayrshire West FM and West Sound FM 16 October 1981
97.4 MFR Inverness Moray, Orkney and the Highlands Moray Firth Radio 1107AM 23 February 1982
Radio Borders Tweedbank Scottish Borders and North Northumberland 22 January 1990
West Sound FM Dumfries Dumfries & Galloway West Sound AM and West FM 21 May 1990
West FM Ayr Ayrshire West Sound AM and West Sound FM 6 January 1997
Cool FM Newtownards Northern Ireland Downtown Radio 16 March 1976

Bauer Passion stations[edit]

Station name Based in FM broadcast areas Digital broadcasts Transmission Date
Heat Radio Manchester - Nationally on Digital TV, online, selected areas on DAB 25 September 2007
The Hits Radio Manchester - Nationally on Digital TV, online, selected areas on DAB 2003
Kerrang! Radio London - Nationally on Digital TV, online, selected areas on DAB 10 June 2004
Kiss London London, Severn Estuary, East Anglia Nationally on Digital TV, online, DAB 1 September 1990
Planet Rock London West Midlands Nationally on Digital TV, online, DAB 1999
Smash Hits Radio Manchester - Nationally on Digital TV, online 2002

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, 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]


In October 2014, a new schedule of networked programming will be introduced to Bauer Place stations in England and Scotland.[3]

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) Manchester
2200–0100 Kate Lawler Exc. Metro Radio and TFM
Monday–Friday 1400–1500 Old Skool & Anthems with Neil Bentley Exc. MFR and Radio Borders
Friday 1900–2200 Friday Night Floorfillers with James Barr Exc. MFR. Clyde 1 opts in from 20:00 due to local programming (Super Scoreboard).
Saturday 0900–1200 Andrew 'Boogie' Bouglas and David 'Dingo' Konov Edinburgh
1800–2200 Old Skool & Anthems with Graeme Park Manchester
Sunday 0900–1200 Paddy McGuinness 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. 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 Notes Location
Monday–Thursday 0100–0600 Alex Duffy Syndicated with Heat.
Metro, TFM & Radio City opt in from 0200
Friday–Sunday Matt Wilkins
Sunday 1600–1900 The Vodafone Big Top 40 with Marvin Humes & Kat Shoob Leicester Square, London


The Bauer Place 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 One studios in Edinburgh.

Day Time Main presenter(s)/programme Notes Location
Monday-Friday 0100–0600 Michael Smith Glasgow
Saturday & Sunday John Mulgrew
Friday & Saturday 2200–0100 Krystle Edinburgh
Saturday 1200–1400 Scotland's Hot 20 with Mark Martin Exc. Northsound 1 and MFR
Sunday 0600–0900 Mark Martin

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 an 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.

Bauer Passion[edit]

The Bauer Passion Stations take no networked programming, except for The Hits Radio which takes some of Bauer Place's networked output for Northern England as detailed above. Additionally, The Hits and Smash Hits Radio both carry the Big Top 40 Show.

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. ^ Weekly Bauer show for Paddy McGuinness Radio Today, 28 August 2014

External links[edit]