Former BBC Radio Solent presenter John Piper launched the station in 1980, with the words Good Morning Hampshire, Good Morning Dorset. At that time, 2CR consisted of a full service station with music, personalities, phone-ins, and a local news service. Managing Director for the first three years, was Norman Bilton who joined them from Metro Radio in Newcastle. The station's longest serving staff member was office manager Rosemary Mundy, who worked for the station from its launch until 2009.
The station gained its highest RAJAR listening figures at the turn of the millennium with a successful daytime line-up consisting of The Morning Crew (Richie, Martyn & Emma), Katherine Orman from 10am-2pm and Adrian Clarkson from 2-7pm. Clarkson was replaced by GWR network presenter Rob Smith in 2002 and Orman left shortly afterwards to be replaced by James Lloyd from Fire Radio.
On 21 June 2010, Global Radio announced plans to close Heart Dorset and merge the station with Heart Hampshire as part of plans to reduce the Heart network of stations from 33 to 16. The new station, Heart South Coast, began from Fareham on 30 July 2010.