Magic 105.4 FM
|Frequency||RDS: Magic, 105.4 MHz
TalkTalk TV: 617
Virgin Media (ex NTL): 928
|First air date||9 July 1990|
|Audience share||5.9% (December 2012, )|
As well as being carried on FM in London it is simulcast on several DAB multiplexes, online, and on digital television.
In 1998, Melody FM was purchased by media group Emap from Hanson plc; the Magic brand replaced that of Melody's in December of that year.
On rebranding Melody FM, Emap introduced automation to the station for the first time - weekday afternoons were split with a 'non-stop music hour', first sponsored by the now defunct energy company Calortex, and later by the Emap-owned Red magazine. Magic was criticised for automating a further eleven hours of its daily output (7pm-6am) given the reach and size of the station.
In an attempt to cut costs, Magic began networking its mid-morning show, hosted by Richard Skinner, and automated overnight output with the eight other Magic Radio stations in the North of England in January 2002. Audience figures fell on all nine stations in the twelve months that followed, some arguing a lack of local content had driven listeners to tune away. Networking was ended in January 2003, although the eight 'northern' Magic stations continued to share a mid-morning show, hosted by Mark Thorburn, and have now been networked again, with the exception of local breakfast shows, following a repositioning of the northern Magic group in mid-2006.
The end of networking heralded a programming shift; Magic adopting its 'more music, less talk' ethos. Former Capital FM head and radio consultant Richard Park was brought in to increase the station's audience share. In September 2003, Magic saw its first major revamp: live programming replaced automated output in the evening, and Independent Radio News-employed staff manned the station's daytime news output, removing shared presenting/newsreading responsibilities, a legacy from Magic's predecessor, Melody FM.
Recent years have seen a reliance on weekend celebrity-hosted content and large cash prizes to entice listeners - the award of £110,600 to Nicola Diss, the winner of the popular Magic Mystery Voices contest on 12 January 2006 was the largest cash prize given away on UK radio since 1999, a sum surpassed just a few months later by the prize collected by listener Dawn Muggleton in the Smooth Secret Song competition on London rival 102.2 Smooth FM, scooping £118,454 on 19 April 2006. However, Magic regained the honour on 30 March 2007 with listener Maria Crosskey winning £168,600 in a six-month-long Mystery Voices contest, although she was later disqualified (see 'Mystery Voices' below).
On 12 May 2011 it was announced 95.8 Capital FM remained the most listened-to commercial radio station in London, on both share and reach, beating rival Magic 105.4. However, on 4 August 2011 it was announced rival Magic 105.4 had overtaken the position.
The eight other stations in the Magic Radio network spanning the North of England operate a music policy and presentation style considered more upbeat and personality-based than their London counterpart. There is also a complementary music television channel available on the Sky, and Virgin Media digital TV platforms in the UK.
- Paul Phear Afternoons
- Graham Dene Breakfast/Drivetime
- Richard Skinner Mid-Mornings/Saturday Breakfast and Magic Countdown
- Martin Buchanan Drivetime/Weekday Evenings
- David Prever Drivetime
- Ana Schofield Weekday Overnights
- Nicky Horne Drivetime/Sunday Mid-Mornings
- David Hiskett Weekday Evenings/Weekend Afternoons
- Gary King Drivetime/Weekend Afternoons
- Richard Porter Weekday/Weekend Overnights
- Russell Pockett Weekend Breakfast
- Mike Carson Weekend Breakfast
- Tim Smith Weekend Evenings
- Charles Nove Weekend Evenings
- Simon Ross Saturday Night Magic
- Mike Toolan Backtrack: Magic's Greatest Hits
- Ben Shephard Saturday Night Magic
- Eamonn Holmes Sunday Afternoons
- Lorraine Kelly Tender Moments
- Nicola Bonn Weekend Overnights
- Steve Priestley Weekend Breakfast
Magic often runs a Mystery Voices competition in which listeners are required to guess the names of three celebrity voices. One says "Magic", the second "One-oh-five" and the third "Point-four". Every hour a listener guesses the names of the celebrities and for each failed attempt £100 is added to the prize fund. The competitions often run for several months with the winner eventually receiving a prize potentially worth upwards of £100,000.
- In the first competition which ended on 29 June 2006 after five months, the celebrities were identified as Sara Dallin, Clive Anderson and Morten Harket, with the listener, Peter Loraine, winning £98,400.
- Nicola Diss won £110,600 for identifying Kurt Russell, Gloria Estefan and Matthew Wright.
- Barbara Way won £81,200 for naming Liza Tarbuck, Mariah Carey and John Travolta.
- In a marathon six-month contest, a woman claiming to be called Maria Crosskey won £168,600 for identifying Anjelica Huston, Rob Thomas and Sarah Lancashire at the end of March 2007. She was later disqualified for failing to 'comply with the rules of the competition' when she was identified as Bernadette Hurst, who had already won three prizes from the radio station, thereby breaking broadcasting rules that state any one listener cannot collect more than one cash prize in the same 12-month period. Emap decided to roll the prize fund over to the start of the next Mystery Voices contest, which began in August 2007.
- A competition commenced in August 2007. Due to the disqualification after the previous contest, the bonus for the first voice was set at £50,000, for the second voice another £50,000 and the jackpot for the third voice started at £69,000. The bonuses went on the second and fourth days of the competition, Paul Young and Pam Ferris being identified. The jackpot of £88,600 was won on 5 September 2007 by Gary Thompson who identified the third voice as that of Nigel Planer.
- In the competition that began in September 2007, the first name, Paul Carrack, was given in mid-November and a second, Chesney Hawkes a month later. On 1 February 2008, a man identified as Russell from Reading, correctly identified the third voice as Julie Delpy, winning £110,700.
- A new Mystery Voices contest began on 10 September 2012. It took until 18 January 2013 for listener James Olivier, from Wimbledon, to correctly identify the three voices as Emma Forbes, Nicky Clarke, and Magne Furuholmen to win the £100,000 jackpot.
- GLOBAL: Capital FM back at #1 Radio Today, 12 May 2011
- GLOBAL: Capital slips down to number 2 Radio Today, 4 August 2011
- Magic Mystery Voices Competition: 30 March 2007. Published by Emap on 24 May 2007. Accessed 25 May 2007.