BBC Radio Lincolnshire
|Broadcast area||Central Lincolnshire|
94.9 MHz (Belmont), 104.7 MHz (Grantham), 1368 kHz (Swanpool)RDS: BBCLincs
|First air date||11 November 1980|
|Format||Local news, talk and music|
|Audience share||14.7% (September 2014, )|
|Owner||BBC Local Radio,
BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire
BBC Radio Lincolnshire is the BBC Local Radio service for the major part of the English county of Lincolnshire (northern parts of the county are served by BBC Radio Humberside, and southern parts of the county are not served by BBC Local Radio). It broadcasts from studios near Newport Arch in Lincoln on 94.9 (most of the county) and 104.7 (Grantham) FM, 1368 (Swanpool, west Lincoln) AM and online, and from 1 October 2015 on DAB to most of the county.
Launched on 11 November 1980 at 7am with a commissioned peal of bells from Lincoln Cathedral. The first words spoken on BBC Radio Lincolnshire came from Nick Brunger: "And it's a warm welcome for the first time to the programmes of BBC Radio Lincolnshire."
In 2006 it conducted a six-month trial of XDA pocket-PCs for the BBC, using Technica Del Arte's Luci mobile (on the hoof) interviewing application. It used to have a BBC Bus, until licence fee cutbacks in early 2008 forced budget priorities to be streamlined.
Under its first manager, Roy Corlett, the station achieved record audience figures as its programming of news, music and chat became very popular. Corlett left to found BBC Radio Devon and was replaced briefly by Laurie Bloomfield, who also left to launch a new BBC local station, BBC Radio Shropshire.
After Bloomfield's brief stay, the station was managed for 14 years by David Wilkinson, one of the founding team, and a local radio pioneer from his days at BBC Radio Nottingham in 1968. Upon Wilkinson's retirement in 1999, the station was taken over by BBC Radio Leicester managing editor, Charlie Partridge. In 2004, the station recorded record audience figures – according to RAJAR, listeners were tuned into BBC Radio Lincolnshire for longer ("hours") than any other radio station in the country.
In October 2005, it presided over the creation of a new flag for Lincolnshire.
To reflect the many forms of media the station now produces, not just audio, the station changed its name from BBC Radio Lincolnshire to BBC Lincolnshire on 30 November 2009. The jingles changed accordingly, and the station now uses the generic BBC Local Radio jingle package produced by Mcasso Music Production. Radio Gloucestershire retained the former suite of jingles until July 2011, produced by Maximum Production of Shepton Mallet, which they had used since 2005. The station's name reverted to BBC Radio Lincolnshire in May 2012.
Transmitters and coverage
The main signal on 94.9FM comes from the Belmont transmitting station near Donington on Bain in the north of the county, which, until the height reduction carried out in September/October 2009, was the tallest mast in Europe, although the MW signal comes from Lincoln.
Neither the FM not the MW signals cover the southern edge of the county, including Bourne, Holbeach, Stamford, Market Deeping and Spalding. Likewise, most of northern Lincolnshire cannot receive the station, including Barton upon Humber and Immingham. As such, Radio Lincolnshire only covers central Lincolnshire.
The Grantham signal, from just south of the town, is a filler transmitter with low power. Radio Lincolnshire was the only local radio station in Lincolnshire until 1992, when Lincs FM began, also broadcast from Belmont.
The Belmont transmitter broadcasts BBC National DAB and Digital One and formerly the now closed MXR Yorkshire. For Lincolnshire, a DAB multiplex could have only been realistically established by financial investment from the Lincs FM Group, and other transmitter positions could theoretically be used. The DAB licence, was advertised in October 2007, which was indicated not to not cover Stamford or South Holland, but would cover North Lincolnshire (Scunthorpe) and North East Lincolnshire (Grimsby). On 24 January 2008, the company MuxCo Lincolnshire was the only company to bid for the Lincolnshire DAB licence. It is 51% owned by the Lincs FM Group, and planned to have transmitters at Belmont, High Hunsley (in East Yorkshire), Grantham and Lincoln County Hospital. They were awarded the DAB licence on 19 February 2008. Transmissions were expected to begin by July 2009, but funding for the project was delayed. The Lincolnshire DAB multiplex launched on 1 October 2015, from Belmont, Grantham and Lincoln but not High Hunsley. Several additional transmitters may be added at a later date.
The majority of the station's programming is produced and broadcast from Lincoln. During off-peak hours, BBC Radio Lincolnshire also carries a variety of selected regional programming from the BBC's Yorkshire, East and East Midlands regions. As with all BBC Local Radio stations, it also airs the networked weekday evening shows, originating from BBC Radio Leeds and produced independently by Wire Free Productions. During the station's downtime, BBC Radio Lincolnshire simulcasts BBC Radio 5 Live overnight.
A weekly news bulletin in Portuguese was broadcast for migrant workers until July 2008. It was read by Rui Silva, who worked for Boston Borough Council. The station also simulcasts some programming with counterpart BBC Local Radio stations.
The station is one of few to have a dedicated farming programme on Sundays at 7am, which it has had since the station began. Radio 4's Farming Today is the only national BBC Radio programme to routinely feature stories from the county.
Since the early 1980s, a race had been held at the Market Rasen Racecourse, the BBC Radio Lincolnshire Novice's Hurdle. In recent years, this has become the Mike Molloy Memorial Handicap Chase, named after a former sports presenter who died of Myeloma.
In 1983 it formed a charity trust, thought to be the first in the UK for a radio station. This became known as Going for Gold. Originally GOLD stood for Give Our Lincolnshire Defibrillators. Since then, money has been raised for a number of other local causes.
It holds an annual folk song competition.
- Boothby Graffoe, comedian who presented a two-hour programme on Friday evenings on the station, and briefly on Radio Nottingham, in the late 1980s.
- John Inverdale, presenter of national sports programmes on BBC Television and BBC Radio Five Live, started his radio career as a morning presenter from 1982–85, having worked for two years at the Lincolnshire Echo. He has claimed it is the most enjoyable job he has ever had, despite the early mornings. He was replaced by Dave Bussey.
- Sky News weather forecaster Jo Wheeler worked for a number of years as a Saturday afternoon programme presenter at BBC Radio Lincolnshire.
- BBC Director of Sport, Roger Mosey, began his career at the station.
- BBC News Washington correspondent, and former Newsround presenter, Matthew Price, was a reporter with BBC Radio Lincolnshire in the mid-1990s.
- Alan Coote founder of The Bay 102.8 now rebranded to Hot Radio, executive producer and presenter of Let's Talk Business, worked at the station in the early 1980s.
- BBC Radio Lincolnshire, includes presenter profiles
- History of local radio in Lincolnshire.
- MDS975's Transmitter Map.
- Belmont transmitter.
- Grantham transmitter.