Liberty Radio

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This article is about the UCKG UK radio station. For the US government-funded radio broadcast service in Europe, see Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Frequency SES Astra 2F at 28.2° East
12.581 GHz Vertical
SR: 22000
FEC: 5/6
Service ID: 55373
Audio PID: 2325
First air date 3 July 1995
as Viva 963
Format Easy Listening, R'n'B, Classical, pop, and religious
Website www.libertyradio.co.uk

Liberty Radio is a UK radio broadcaster and company based in London, England that, as of 2013, is transmitted free to air from the Astra 2F [1] satellite at 28.2° East to most of Europe, and on the Internet, but not on analog or DAB terrestrial radio.[2] The station is also available to subscribers to BSkyB on the Sky EPG at LCN 186. The company started as Viva 963, broadcasting on terrestrial radio, predominantly for women, and was later renamed. It lost its terrestrial broadcasting licence in 2002 after being acquired by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG); the broadcasting slot was taken over by Buzz Asia, with different content.

History[edit]

Viva 963[edit]

The station started on 3 July 1995 as Viva 963, a service of talk and pop aimed at women devised by public relations consultant Lynne Franks.[3] It broadcast on 963 kHz on medium wave from a transmitter at Lea Bridge Road, Leyton. A second transmitter, broadcasting on 972 kHz, was later added at Glade Lane, Southall, Middlesex.

963 Liberty (Fayed)[edit]

In May 1996 the station was sold to Mohammed Al Fayed, owner of Harrods and chairman of Fulham Football Club, who renamed the station Liberty Radio.[4] For a time it broadcast commentaries of Fulham FC's home and away football games.

Presenters[edit]

Presenters before UCKG ownership:[4][5]

Liberty Radio (UCKG)[edit]

In 2000 Al Fayed sold the station to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG);[7]

The broadcasting slot[edit]

UCKG were not allowed to change the format to religious programming, but did broadcast programmes linked to their UCKG Help Centres in the evenings. In February 2001 Ofcom issued a "Yellow Card" to Liberty Radio over religious content and giving undue prominence to its owners, the UCKG, breaching two rules of the Advertising and Sponsorship Code. Changes were made as a result.[8]

At the time there were rules preventing stations owned by religious organisations from owning digital radio licences in the UK. Therefore Liberty could not move onto DAB, and did not get an automatic license renewal. Their broadcasting licence was readvertised, and was awarded on 12 November 2002 to Club Asia, who took over 963 and 972 MW at midnight on 3 July 2003.[9] Club Asia went into administration in August 2009[10] and was taken over by Sunrise Radio Group, itself owned by Litt Corporation,[11] who branded it "Buzz Asia",[12] later "Buzz Radio".[13]

Programming[edit]

Since the loss of the terrestrial broadcasting licence Liberty Radio has been broadcasting a mixture of pop, r'n'b, easy listening and Christian music, and a variety of talk shows on the Internet, Sky Digital and the Eurobird satellite. In addition to more general music and talk, the Liberty Radio website lists prayer and religious programmes, the VYG connection (the VYG is the Victory Youth Group, the "youth ministry of the UCKG HelpCentre"),[14] Christian hits and gospel songs. The website carries links to various UCKG websites at the bottom of all pages.[15]

Presenters[edit]

Presenters change from time and time; current presenters, and some former presenters, are listed on the Liberty Radio Web site.[5]

References[edit]