TFM (radio)

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TFM Logo 2013.png
Former TFM Radio logo until 7 April 2013.
City of license Newcastle
Broadcast area County Durham
Tees Valley
North Yorkshire
Branding Your Music, Your Life
Frequency 96.6 MHz
(RDS Name TFM)
First air date 24 June 1975
Format CHR
Audience share 7.3% (December 2012, [1])
Owner Bauer Radio
Sister stations Magic 1170
Metro Radio
Webcast TFM on Radio Player
Website TFM

TFM is an Independent Local Radio station. Launched in June 1975 as Radio Tees, with the slogan "You've got a friend on 257" it was the first independent local radio station serving County Durham, the Tees Valley and North Yorkshire. The station currently broadcasts on 96.6 FM, DAB and online with DAB services provided by Bauer Digital. The station is owned and operated by Bauer Radio and forms part of the Bauer Place stations.

On 8 April 2013, the station merged with Metro Radio in Newcastle.[1]


From the start of broadcasting in 1975, TFM (then known as Radio Tees) was owned by Sound Broadcasting (Teesside) Ltd and originally broadcast on 257 Medium Wave only, with a later launch on 95 VHF. After a government radio frequency re shuffle in the mid-1980s, the FM frequency was swapped with BBC Radio Cleveland and Radio Tees shifted to 96.6 FM in 1986. In 1988 Radio Tees was relaunched as TFM 96.6 after being taken over by Newcastle upon Tyne based Metro Radio Group. Shortly after this, a new Medium Wave station called Great North Radio (GNR) was launched after broadcasting rules meant TFM could not broadcast on both FM and Medium Wave.

In the late 1990s, TFM was taken over by EMAP along with the rest of the Metro Radio Group stations and integrated into EMAP's Bauer Place stations. Shortly after this the station was re branded 96.6 TFM and took on the generic "splash" logo that was rolled out across all of the other Bauer Place stations. EMAP, a publicly listed plc, media and magazine arm, was then bought by Bauer Media, a privately owned German based family business in 2008. In July 2007, TFM was rebranded TFM Radio and re adopted the slogan Today's Favourite Music which had first been used in the late 1990s. On 8 April 2013 the station reverted to TFM with the same slogan as Metro Radio Non-Stop Hits and More Music Variety. The RDS name was finally changed to "TFM" the end of July 2013.

Merger with Metro Radio[edit]

As of Monday 8 April 2013, all programming is shared with sister station Metro Radio in Newcastle. However, the TFM branding is retained along with separate news bulletins and advertising. Two journalists are based locally for newsgathering.[1] The two stations were able to merge without consultation as the TFM licence area is located in one approved broadcast area (North East England).[2]

The TFM studios in Thornaby were closed and remaining staff were moved to Newcastle. Most on-air staff were made redundant,[3] including breakfast presenters Wayne Tunnicliffe and Amy McConnell, who were replaced by Metro Radio counterparts Steve Furnell and Karen Wight.[4] Despite the merger, RAJAR reported an increase in weekly listener reach for TFM during the second quarter of 2013.[5]

Unification of Bauer Place stations[edit]

As of 17 February 2014 the following changes were made to Bauer Place stations in England and Scotland:

  • A single In:Demand syndicated programme with new presenter Stu Tolan.[6]
  • Neil Bentley's Old Skool & Anthems programme which was shared between Key 103 and 97.4 Rock FM was extended to 12 other Bauer Place stations.[7]
  • 16 Bauer Place stations now have a single audio identity and new strapline Your Life, Your Music.[8]

Current on air team[edit]

Networked presenters are based at Metro Radio in Newcastle. In:Demand, overnights and Sunday afternoons are produced at Key 103 in Manchester. The Vodafone Big Top 40 is produced at Capital London at Leicester Square in London.

Former on air team[edit]

News team[edit]

TFM broadcasts localised news bulletins on the hour between 0600 and 1800 weekdays, 0700 to 1200 on Saturday and 0800 to 1200 on Sunday. National news bulletins are outsourced from Sky News Radio (IRN) and are simulcast each hour between 0200 to 0500 everyday.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°33′32″N 1°18′19″W / 54.55889°N 1.30528°W / 54.55889; -1.30528