BOB fm (Hertfordshire)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

106 BOB fm
BOB fm Hertfordshire & Homecounties logo 2014.jpg
Broadcast areaKnebworth, Hertford, Ware, Hatfield, Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City, Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City & Watton-at-Stone
Slogan"You'll Hear All Sorts of Stuff"
Frequency106.7 MHz, 106.9 MHz
First air date(as HertBeat FM) 3 March 2001
OwnerShadow Radio Holdings Ltd[1]Archived 13 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
WebsiteBOB fm

106 BOB fm is an independent radio station broadcasting to Hertfordshire on 106.7 MHz and 106.9 MHz on FM in Knebworth, Hertford, Ware, Hatfield, Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City, Welwyn Garden City, Watton-at-Stone in the United Kingdom and streaming at Programming originates from studios at the Old Pump House in Knebworth Park.


Early Years : Radio Hertford and HertBeat[edit]

In October 1998, following seven years of lobbying of the Radio Authority Radio Hertford was granted a Restricted Service Licence to broadcast for a two-week period to Hertford and surrounding areas.[2]

In 1999 the Radio Authority invited applications to apply for a long-term Hertford licence. The Radio Hertford consortium submitted a bid to broadcast as Hertbeat FM [3] competing with a rival entrant, Stag FM, backed by The Daily Mail Radio Group.[4] Citing Radio Hertford's lobbying of the Radio Authority, trial broadcast and emphasis on local content, the HertBeat FM bid was awarded licence in February 2000: "an imaginative, music-led service, targeted at discerning 25 to 54 year olds, with intelligent speech that emphasises local news and information." [5][6][7]

Logo of Hertbeat FM before its Jack FM incarnation

Following the award, the Old Pump House at Knebworth Park was converted into a radio studio.[8] Broadcasting commenced on 3 March 2001 with the inaugural show presented by Robbie Owen, a director of the company. Amongst the original team was Steve Folland, who continued presenting at the station until November 2013.

July 2005 saw HertBeat FM acquired by Shadow Radio Holdings Ltd., led by Brett Harley, resulting in a change of directors.[9]

The station continued its offering of locally oriented content, music and request shows using a roster of presenters through the day and night.

Jack FM[edit]

On 10 May 2010, the station rebranded as Jack FM - at that time the third such licensee operating in the UK.[10][11][12] Amongst the reasons for terminating HertBeat was confusion with encroaching rival Heart.

The Jack format was mostly automated, initially only "Jack's Breakfast" with Steve Folland surviving as a presenter-led show but quickly complimented with a Saturday "Interactive Brunch" topical news show presented by Chris Hubbard and a Sunday "All Eighties" music show with Brett Harley. The rest of the schedule included music, snippets from Jack's Breakfast, News and other local content.

In common with the other UK Jack stations many links between segments were provided by the acerbic Voice of Jack, Paul Darrow, recorded at Jack FM Oxfordshire and often tailored for the local audience.[13][14] Unlike HertBeat, Jack FM rejected listener's requests, a stance supported by the brand slogan, "Playing what we want" and Voice of Jack remarks.

In November 2013, as the Jack FM era drew to a close Steve Folland departed the station, replaced by experienced producer and presenter Graham Mack.

BOB fm[edit]

The station prepared to broadcast using DAB in addition to FM, triggering another rebranding due to lack of exclusivity of the Jack FM moniker on the DAB multiplex and potential clashes with the growing number of stations operating as Jack FM franchises.

From January to March 2014 listeners were encouraged to suggest new names for the station. Unlike the sudden transformation to Jack FM, the plan to rename the station was trailed extensively.

The rebranding was announced on 10 March 2014. The final song played by the station as Jack FM Hertfordshire was "Things Can Only Get Better" by D:Ream, airing shortly before 0800.

At 0808 the station was transformed into BOB fm: The inaugural song was "Hit the Road Jack" by Ray Charles.

BOB fm's links are provided by the Voice of BOB.

Although other Bob FM stations operate in USA and Canada and BOB fm Hertfordshire has utilized an existing catchphrase, "Turn your knob to BOB", the operations are unconnected and the Hertfordshire-based station remains independent.[15]

Graham Mack departed in July 2018[16] to become Programme Director at London-based Fix Radio. Brett Harley replaced Graham Mack presenting BOB's Breakfast.

BOB fm's DAB service ceased in August 2018 [17].

Notable former presenters and personalities[edit]

Hertbeat FM [20][21][22]

Des Barber Steve Cook Marcus Gedge Rhidian Jones Carl Pendlebury Darrell Thomas
Giles Barr Lester Cowling Ruth Gibbon Harvey Lee Anthony Poulter
Simon Bennett Ian Daborn Simon Gosby Nick Lester John Robnett
Chris Blumer Andrew Davies Simon Gummer Tim Lewis Liz Saul
Chris Bradley Richard Day Pete Hill Mimms Lovelock Richard Saw
Guy Bradley Bob Dixon Chris Hollis Kerry Mac Ken Scott
Nigel Cayne Paul Dixon Paul Hutchinson Michael Massey Peter Simester
Andy Chapman Steve Dean Jo Fahy Russell Osbourne Benedict Smith
Chris Branscomb Terry Doyle Polly James Robbie Owen Dave Stanford
Sarah Champion Andrew Edrupt Jeff Jones Rhidian Jones Euan Tees


  1. ^ Acquisition of Hertbeat FM by Shadow Radio Holdings Ltd Archived 13 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Ofcom
  2. ^ "Local Radio: Licence Awarded to HertBeat". 11 March 2000. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Millionaire Backs Hertbeat". 19 June 1999. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Stag FM Launches Rival Bid". 12 June 1999. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Radio Authority Publishes Assessment Of Hertford Licence Award". Radio Authority. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Radio Authority Awards New Local Licence for Hertford to HertBeat FM". Radio Authority. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Celebrating The Result!". HertBeat. Archived from the original on 17 February 2001. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Local Radio: Building Starts". 18 July 2000. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  9. ^ "New Owner for HertBeat FM". Radio Today. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Goodbye Hertbeat... hello Jack FM!". Welwyn Hatfield Times. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Jack FM Launches in Hertfordshire". Jack FM/SparkNet Communications. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  12. ^ "hertbeat stops as JACK spreads". Radio Today. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  13. ^ "The Radio Today Programme March 5th 2014". Radio Today. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  14. ^ "Is JACK fm the future of radio?". Radio Today. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  15. ^ "JACK fm Hertfordshire rebrands as BOB fm". Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  16. ^ "Graham Mack goes from Bob FM to Fix Radio". Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Close to my Herts: Steve Folland". Hertfordshire Life. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  19. ^ "106 Jack FM - Jack's Breakfast". Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  20. ^ "Hertbeat FM - The Crew". Archived from the original on 28 November 2002. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  21. ^ "Hertbeat FM - DJs". Archived from the original on 26 November 2004. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  22. ^ "Hertbeat FM - DJs". Archived from the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2014.


Coordinates: 51°52′20″N 0°12′41″W / 51.8722°N 0.2113°W / 51.8722; -0.2113