Central 103.1 FM
|Broadcast area||Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire|
|Slogan||All About the Forth Valley|
|First air date||4 June 1990|
Central 103.1 FM is a Independent Local Radio station serving Falkirk, Stirling, Clackmannanshire and the Forth Valley. It is owned and operated by businessman John Quinn and broadcasts from studios at the Springkerse Industrial Estate in Stirling.
In December 1988, the Independent Broadcasting Authority announced it had chosen the Stirling area as one of twenty areas of the UK where new incremental radio licences were to be awarded. A month later, the regulator advertised the Stirling licence, permitting any station format.
Centresound, a community-based licence founded by Colin Lamont (alias Scottie McClue), began broadcasting on Monday 4 June 1990 from studios at the John Player Building in the Stirling Business Park but within two months, fell into financial difficulties due to problems in attracting enough investment to maintain an independent operation.
The board of directors resigned when the long-established Radio Forth went into partnership with Centresound after investing in the station. An overhaul saw the station relaunch as Central FM, sharing programming, news content and administration with Forth under an agreement. The moved was criticised as being in commercial interests, rather than for the community's benefit, but station manager Brian Hawkins argued the station was broadcasting more local output than before and no complaints had been received. The Radio Authority went on to award a new ten-year licence to Central FM in December 1993.
The station continued to record a loss, and in 1996, Radio Investments Ltd gained control after increasing its stake to 60%, ending the partnership with Radio Forth and leading to the station relocating to studios in Falkirk. Later, the controlling share passed onto The Local Radio Company, with 20% held by EMAP and the rest by independent investors.
TLRC chairman John Quinn took control of Central FM in 2008. In October 2012, the station returned to Stirling with the opening of new studios at the Springkerse Industrial Estate. In August 2013, Central FM began broadcasting on DAB across Central Scotland.
On 1st December 2016 three online-only stations were launched under the Central FM brand; Central FM Chart (playing non-stop hits), Central FM Country (24 hour current and classic country hits) and Central FM Gold (non-stop 60's, 70's and 80's hits). All are accessible from the station website and downloadable app.
Central FM won the Scotland category in the Radio Academy Nations and Regions Awards twice in 2008 and 2011. It also won the Sony Gold Award for best UK station (in a TSA under 300,000 listeners) in 2012 and placed in the top three of stations (TSA under 500,000 listeners) at the 2013 Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards and won the Silver Award for Station of The Year at The Arqiva Radio Awards 2015.
The majority of Central FM's programming is produced and broadcast from its Stirling studios. Presenter-led programming airs from 6am - 2am from Monday - Saturday and 8am - 1am on Sunday. The Vodafone Big Top 40 is syndicated from Global Radio at its Capital studios in London for broadcast on over 145 commercial radio stations across the UK on Sunday afternoons.
The station's presenters include programming controller Joe Kilday (weekday breakfast), Gemma McLean (weekday mornings), head of music Liam McCann (weekday drivetime), John Mulgrew (Monday - Friday evenings and Saturday Breakfast), Brian Woolfson (weekend mid-mornings) and Daimen Richards (Sunday afternoons).
Local news bulletins air hourly from 6am - 11pm on weekdays, 7am - 6pm on Saturdays and 7am - 1pm on Sundays with headlines on the half-hour during breakfast and drivetime shows and an extended bulletin at 5pm on weeknights. National bulletins from Sky News Radio in London air during all other hours.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 November 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
- Central FM public file
- Central FM public file