Real Radio Wales is a regional radio station broadcasting from studios at Morganstown in Cardiff on various FM frequencies, DAB via the MXR Severn Estuary multiplex and across the UK on digital satellite TV (Sky Digital channel 0146). Global Radio acquired GMG Radio on 25 June 2012 with Real Radio now operated in a "hold separate" situation known as Real and Smooth Ltd.
Real Radio Wales is operated on two separate licences for South Wales and North & Mid Wales, both carrying the same programming from Cardiff and Real's network studios in Salford. In February 2014, the Irish media company Communicorp announced it would acquire the Northern licence under a franchise agreement with Global Radio, pending a review by the Irish Competition Authority.
The station was launched in October 2000, a year after the GMG Group won its first broadcast licence - after an introduction by Tom Jones, the station's founding managing director John Myers introduced the song "A Star is Born". In December 2008, GMG was awarded a FM licence to launch Real Radio in North and Mid Wales. Following an agreed format change request, the existing South Wales service has been rolled out to the new coverage area. The station began broadcasting on its North and Mid Wales frequencies at 8am on Tuesday 4 January 2011.
On 25 June 2012 it was announced Global Radio (the owner of stations such as Capital and Heart) had bought GMG Radio. The former GMG stations, including Real Radio, will continue to operate separately until a regulatory review is carried out. On 6 February 2014, Global Radio reached an agreement to sell the North Wales licence for Real Radio and seven other stations to Communicorp.
Real Radio Wales is a music and speech station, playing a Hot AC format of classic, contemporary and current music the past 25 years to the present day.
The station also carries news bulletins every hour between the hours of 6am and 7pm weekdays and from 6am to 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays (including half-hour headlines at breakfast and drivetime) from Cardiff. Other bulletins are provided by Sky News through IRN.