|First air date||18 March 1990|
|Owner||Sunrise Radio Group|
106.8 Time FM was a local commercial radio station located in the south-east London and north-west Kent area of England, which broadcast to Greenwich and Bexleyheath in London and Dartford and Gravesend in Kent on 106.8 FM, and ceased transmission in April 2009.
The radio station originally broadcast as Radio Thamesmead using the local Rediffusion cable television system (channel L). It was also broadcast in Greenwich for a time on a cable television service there. Towards the end of the 1980s, new management were brought in by the stations backers (the Community Service Volunteers NGO and Thamesmead Town company) with a view to campaigning and applying for a permanent broadcast (FM) license. The station was managed by Bob Smith and David Stanley headed the engineering/technical side. An Incremental Radio license was applied for in 1989. One other applicant, Greenwich Community Radio Meridian applied, but Radio Thamesmead won the license which it has long campaigned for.
The volunteers of the radio station were given the opportunity to vote on a new name for the station. It was felt that the Thamesmead name should be dropped to reflect the much wider service area which covered a large part of south east London. RTM Radio was the name chosen by the majority.
Following upgrading of the stations facilities to meat the IBA engineering code, the station commenced broadcasts from its existing studios at Tavy Bridge, Thamesmead, as RTM Radio transmitting on 103.8 F.M. Transmission was from Shooters Hill, one of the highest points in London. The station was the first operator in the UK to use an independent company (Sound Broadcast Services) to provide its FM transmission systems.
The station negotiated a change in frequency from 103.8 to 106.8MHz following persistent interference from BBC local transmissions in Bedfordshire. The station also changed from vertical polarisation to circular using a custom designed antenna from SBS.
RTM stayed at Tavy Bridge until moving to the Thamesmead Town offices in Harrow Manor Way during April 1994. The new studios and production facilities were designed and built in house by Frank de Pellette and Jon Lucas.
Time 106.8 was, in the final five years of its life, owned by the Sunrise Radio Group.
The station launched on the FM radio band as RTM Radio on 18 March 1990, having previously broadcast on the area's local cable television service as Radio Thamesmead, and intended to fulfil a community-style remit, with any profits generated being invested in local regeneration projects. Prior to its full time license, the station operated the first FM Restricted Service License in the UK from the 23-24 July 1988 on 104.3MHz.
RTM changed its name to Millennium 106.8 in 1997, to link in with the upcoming celebrations at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, having successfully amended its minority-orientated programming obligations with the Radio Authority. The station was put up for sale in June 1999, and was purchased by the Milestone Group in 2000. Fusion Radio Holdings later took reins of the station.
Millennium was rebranded as Time 106.8 at the beginning of 2003, in a move to associate the station with local town Greenwich's connection with the Greenwich Meridian. Avtar Lit's Sunrise Radio Group purchased the station in March 2004. A later decision was taken to rebrand other stations in the group under the same banner - of which only Time 107.5 in Romford continues to use the moniker.
Performance and subsequent closure
The station consistently struggled to perform in a highly competitive London market in terms of audience figures, with its market share steadily declining in RAJAR performance since the middle of 2005. In its final survey at the end of 2008, Time recorded an audience of 13,000 listeners, representing a market share of 1%.
In an unusual move, the Sunrise Radio Group put the station up for sale via a message on its website in mid-October 2008, and following disputed claims a buyer had been found, Time 106.8 ceased broadcasting at midnight on Saturday 4 April 2009.
Original RTM / Millennium presenters include:
- Barry Shaw
- Craig Hannington (Now with Delite Radio)
- Jon Lucas
- Frank de Pellette (Presenter / Station Engineer)
- Clive Richardson
- Brian Eringa
- Rev Wendy Saunders
- Mark Parker (Presenter At Radio Hillingdon)
- Steve George
- Tony Shearman
- Sam Tate (Sam Cook)
- Nick Saalfeld
- Jago Price
- Andy Sayers (Now at Miskin Radio)
- Richard Gold
- Ed Hudson
- Colin Martin
- Mark Mansfield (specifically Charlton Live and Charlton Match Commentaries)
- Dave (Dickie) Davis (Sport)
- Greg Whelan (Sport)
- Chris Bechervaise (Presenter/Producer "The Beautiful Game" and "Super Sunday" - now station manager at Stones Live!)
- Ken Murray (station co-ordinator/presenter)
- Rob Hooker (Head of compliance Channel 4 /Box Television)
- Marvin Shaw
- Ben Hartley (now with Manx Radio)
- Simon Beale (now with Heart London)
- Julie Goodwin
- Nigel Goodge (news editor)
- Matthew Davies (news journalist and presenter, now editor of the BBC's Africa Business Report in Johannesburg)
- Jeremy Wilks (news journalist and presenter, now TV reporter at Euronews, Lyon, France)
- Kier Simmons (news journalist, now TV reporter at NBC News Europe)
- Sue Mansfield (now at BBC Radio Kent)
- Mark Fox (zackfm.com)
- Ray Bradshaw (Now with Solar Radio)
- Chris Pearson now with BFBS
- Mark Jones (Now with BBC Radio Gloucestershire, via BBC Radio 5 Live and other BBC local stations)
- Richard Cray
- Jamie Wisdom
- Clive Brady (went to various FM commercial stations)
- Jenny Costello (briefly moved to BBC Radio 1)
- Peter Haynes (now Veterans Radio Net, Wigan FM, Big Venture Radio, Torbay Sounds)
- Andy Fields (went to Jazz fm)
- Dave Moses - Saturday Afternoons (Now Imaging Producer at Capital (radio network))
- Delroy Haynes (Now BBC One/Two continuity announcer)
- Gary Mulligan (now programme controller at Dream 100 FM)
- Paul Stutch (died December 2008)
- Dave Lockwood ( Matchday announcer at Charlton, presenter of Charlton Live Internet radio show)
- Sammy Bell
- Pete Flynn (now with SFM Radio, Sittingbourne)
- Caesar The Geezer / The Boogieman
- Richard Wright
- Jonathan Miles (now with BBC Radio Newcastle)
- Roger Day
- Bob Lawrence ( ex Mercia, BRMB now Radio Caroline)
- Darren Wingham
- Justin Smith
- Jon Edwards
- Vince Braithwaite
- Alison Lawrence
- Celeste Montone
- Juliet Dwek
- Eddy Brown
- Martin Stone
- Rodney Collins.
At the Time 106.8 relaunch in March 2003, the presenter line-up was as follows:
- Mike Russell - BreakfastTIME (now with Music Radio Creative)
- Sam Gudger - DayTIME
- Richard Price - DriveTIME
- Alex Skinner
- Martyn Jordan - The TIME Machine
- Sarah Kerr - DriveTIME (now with NME Radio)
The presenter line-up prior to the station's closure:
- Tara Jay - Interim Breakfast Presenter
- Martin Gray - Daytime and Evenings
- Trevor Smith - Drivetime
- Eddie Matthews - Weekend Mid-Mornings
- Alex Stevanovic - Saturday Afternoons
- Nathan Cooper - Weekend Evenings
- John Varnham - Sunday mid mornings (Now with Academy FM 107.8 )
- Richard Linton - Sunday Afternoons
- Pete Flynn - Swing
- Dan Davis - Charlton Chat (a weekly football phone-in for supporters of Charlton Athletic F.C.) also with Dave Lockwood & John Lucas (from the original RTM/Millennium team).
- Jason Rosam - Drivetime now with BBC London 94.9