Heart South West
|City of license||Exeter|
|Broadcast area||Barnstaple, Cornwall, Exeter, Plymouth, South Hams, Torbay|
|Branding||This is Heart|
|Slogan||More Music Variety|
|First air date||27 August 2010|
|Audience share||9.8% (December 2012, )|
|Website||Barnstaple Cornwall Exeter Plymouth South Hams Torbay|
Heart South West is a local radio station owned and operated by Global Radio as part of the Heart network. It broadcasts Devon and Cornwall from studios in Exeter. The station launched on Friday 27 August 2010 under the name Heart Devon, as a result of a merger between Heart Exeter and Heart Torbay (formerly Gemini FM), Heart Plymouth (formerly Plymouth Sound), Heart North Devon (formerly Lantern Radio) and Heart South Devon (formerly South Hams Radio). On Monday 7 May 2012, the station merged again with Atlantic FM in Cornwall, and was renamed Heart South West.
The regional station originally broadcast as six separate stations - Plymouth Sound began broadcasting to Plymouth and surrounding areas in May 1975, Lantern Radio served North Devon since October 1992, Gemini FM broadcast separate services for East and South Devon from January 1995 onwards (DevonAir Radio served the dual-franchise area until losing its broadcast licence on New Year's Eve 1994) and South Hams Radio launched in the South Hams district of South Devon in December 1998. Atlantic FM began broadcasting to Cornwall from July 2006.
By 1999, Plymouth Sound, Gemini FM and Lantern FM were under the ownership of the GWR Group, which merged with the Capital Radio Group to form GCap Media six years later. In that same year, the stations were put up for sale as they were considered outside of the company's primary target area. In the event, the sale did not go ahead as all of the bids made fell short of expectations. In 2008, the group was taken over by Global Radio, which eventually took ownership of South Hams Radio as a joint venture with the UKRD Group. A year later, the stations were rebranded as Heart.
On 21 June 2010, Global Radio announced it would merge the five Devon stations as part of plans to reduce the Heart network of stations from 33 to 16. The new station began broadcasting on Friday 27 August 2010 from studios in Exeter, leading to the closure of studios in Plymouth, Torquay, Barnstaple and Kingsbridge.
On 19 March 2012, Global Radio announced it had bought Atlantic FM from joint owners Tindle Radio and Camel Media. Atlantic FM became part of the Heart Network and merged with Heart Devon on Monday 7 May 2012, forming Heart South West. Local breakfast and drive programming continues to be broadcast from Heart's Exeter studios, with a separate drivetime programme for Cornwall, presented by Victoria Leigh broadcast on weekdays and split news and travel bulletins for the two counties. All other output is broadcast from Heart's network studios in London.
On 14 August 2012 it was understood Global Radio applied for a format change, to remove its commitment to speech content for the Heart Cornwall licence, however on 16 October 2012 this was rejected by media regulator Ofcom.
Heart South West broadcasts local news bulletins for Devon and Cornwall each day - updates air hourly from 6am to 7pm on weekdays and from 6am to 12pm at weekends. In addition, a ten-minute programme for Cornwall, Heart Nightly News, airs each weeknight at 6.45pm. National news updates from Global's London headquarters air each hour at all other times, except during The Vodafone Big Top 40.
Availability and transmitters
- Caradon Hill (105.1MHz) and Redruth (107.0MHz) carries a local programme from 1600 to 1900 on weekdays and separate news, weather and travel bulletins.
|Multiplex Name||Bitrate||Short Label||Long Label||Sld|
|NOW Exeter & Torbay||128kbit/s||Heart||Heart Devon||C369||Also available in North Devon|
|NOW Plymouth||128kbit/s||Heart||Heart Plymouth||C869|
|NOW Cornwall||128kbit/s||Heart CW||Heart Cornwall||C36D||Carries a different programme between 1600 & 1900.|
- Global Radio to halve number of local Heart stations, mediaguardian.co.uk, 21 June 2010 Archived 1 January 2011 at WebCite
- Heart slims but strengthens, RadioToday, 21 June 2010 Archived 1 January 2011 at WebCite
- Altantic FM sold to Global to become Heart, RadioToday, 19 March 2012
- UKRD responds to Atlantic's Heart switch, RadioToday, 19 March 2012
- Global Radio wants Heart Cornwall change Radio Today, 14 August 2012
- Ofcom rejects changes for Heart Cornwall Radio Today, 16 October 2012