Smooth Radio 100.4
|Broadcast area||North West England (FM)
|Slogan||Love Life. Love Music|
|First air date||1 September 1994
(as Jazz FM)
|Audience share||5.2% (September 2009, )|
Smooth Radio 100.4 was an Independent Local Radio station based in Salford, Greater Manchester. It was part of the Smooth brand of stations from 1 March 2004, and changed its name from "Smooth FM" in March 2007. Along with other stations in the network, it was subsumed into a national Smooth Radio service from 4 October 2010. The station was based at studios in Laser House, Salford, where sister stations Real Radio North West, Rock Radio and parent company GMG radio are based. Laser House is now the headquarters for the new station.
The signal was relayed from the Winter Hill transmitter, near Bolton, and was designed to cover Manchester, Merseyside and North Wales and to reach as far north as Carnforth. The station was also available on DAB and online. It was also available on the Sky platform from 14 February 2005 on channel 0128, but was replaced by 102.2 Smooth Radio in mid-2007.
It was launched by Radio Investments Ltd on 1 September 1994 as Jazz FM, but was also known as JFM in an attempt to appeal to listeners who could be put off by the use of the word "jazz". Jazz FM originally played a wide variety of jazz, pandering to more smooth jazz during the daytime in order to attract the 25-45 year old target market which was required to make the station a success. However, the focus of the music later changed, and by the early 2000s, it was focusing more on soul and softer R&B alongside jazz.
100.4 Jazz FM broadcast its daytime shows from its Manchester station, but specialist shows such as Dinner Jazz and Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis were networked from its London sister station 102.2 Jazz FM.
In 2003, the Guardian Media Group did extensive research into the type of music that listeners in the north-west wanted to hear. They concluded that many people were dissuaded by the name "jazz", and as a result, 100.4 Jazz FM closed on 13 February 2004 and relaunched as Smooth FM on 1 March 2004.
The station now began to play more modern music during the day, but continued a mostly jazz themed output at night. The arrangements for local and networked programming remained for a time, but from March 2005, only Mike Chadwick's The Saturday Night Experience was networked from 102.2 Smooth FM. All other programming was produced and aired in the North West.
The station was relaunched again as Smooth Radio 100.4 on 26 March 2007. The launch occurred at the same time as London based 102.2 Smooth FM, however Smooth Radio 100.4 continued with its own unique soul music based format. On 5 July 2007, GMG Radio announced that it was requesting a change of format from Ofcom, which would bring Smooth Radio 100.4 in line with the rest of the network. It proposed an easy listening music service mixed with speech for the over 50's, coupled with an improved local news service. Ofcom approved the changes on 11 October 2007.
In March 2008, GMG requested a format change to remove its jazz commitments it has in place for Smooth Radio 100.4. Part of the plans included a relaunch of Jazz FM from the jazzfm.com service broadcasting on DAB in Glasgow and online on the MXR North West multiplex. In a meeting on 22 April 2008 Ofcom denied GMG's request to drop its jazz commitments. GMG said that it would be relaunching Jazz FM despite the decision.
In 2010 Smooth GMG decided to create a national Smooth Radio service for England, which would see the five Smooth Radio stations in that country being subsumed into one station, which would be based in Manchester. The new Smooth Radio service was launched on 4 October 2010 with the original frequency 100.4 from the Winter Hill transmitter remaining the same.
Presenters on the station at the time of the change over were as follows;
- Chris Best - Smooth Breakfast and Smooth Saturday Afternoon
- Dave Lincoln - Smooth Mid Mornings (Sunday-Friday)
- Steve Collins - Smooth Afternoon
- Derek Webster - The Wind Down and Smooth Saturday Morning
- Andy Peebles - "Smooth Evenings" and Soul Train
- Tony Blackburn - "Smooth Weekend Breakfast" (Networked across all Smooth stations)
- Steve Phillips - Smooth Nights (Tuesday-Friday)
- Glen Morris - Smooth Nights (Saturday-Monday)
- Dave Brown - Motown Floor Fillers
- Stuart Ellis - Smooth Sunday Afternoons
- Pete Waterman - Step Back in Time
- Tony McKenzie - Smooth Sunday Evenings
- Chris Jones - Holiday cover
- Smooth Radio "Opt In" for news broadcast by GMG Radio Manchester's news hub from 8pm on weeknights. Smooth's managing director, Andy Carter (no relation to Century's Programme Controller Sarah) was also in charge of Century.
- Tony Blackburn's Weekend Breakfast Show was simulcast from London.
- Smooth Network
- 100.4 Smooth FM, which replaced 100.4 Jazz FM
- Aircheck UK article on Lancashire, Merseyside and the North West radio stations (includes information on 100.4 Jazz FM)
- Steve Quirk - Fusion Flavours and Smooth Nights
- Chris Best
- Stuart Ellis
- Terry Underhill
- Richard Seerling
- "102.2 Smooth Radio (London) and 100.4 Smooth Radio (North-West England) - Request to Change Station Formats" (pdf). Ofcom. Retrieved 2008-06-14.[dead link]
- "Smooth Radio (London and North-West) Formats Change - Request Denied". Ofcom. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- "Ofcom say no to Smooth". Radio Today. 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-06-14.