Heart Four Counties
|Broadcast area||Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire|
|Branding||This is Heart|
|Slogan||Turn up the Feel Good!|
|Frequency||96.6, 96.9, 97.6, 103.3 MHz & DAB
|Audience share||10.7% (December 2012, )|
|Website||Heart Four Counties|
Heart Four Counties is a local radio station owned and operated by Global Radio as part of the Heart network. It broadcasts to Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire. The station launched on Friday 16 July 2010 as a result of a merger between Heart Milton Keynes (formerly Horizon Radio), Heart Northants (formerly Northants 96), Heart Dunstable (formerly 97.6 Chiltern FM) and Heart Bedford (formerly 96.9 Chiltern Radio).
The regional station originally broadcast as four separate stations - Chiltern Radio began broadcasting to Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire in October 1981 and launched a separate Bedford station in June 1982. Northants 96 began broadcasting to Northamptonshire in November 1986 and Horizon Radio launched in north Buckinghamshire in October 1989.
These stations were owned and operated by the Chiltern Radio Group, which was sold off to the GWR Group in 1995. Subsequently, the GWR Group merged with Capital Radio in 2005 to form GCap Media, which was subsequently bought out by Global Radio in 2008.
On 21 June 2010, Global Radio announced it would merge the four stations as part of plans to reduce the Heart network of stations from 33 separate stations to 16 co-located 'broadcast centres'. The new station began broadcasting from Dunstable on Friday 16 July 2010 and moved to new studios in Milton Keynes on 6 September 2011.
Local programming is produced and broadcast from Heart's Milton Keynes studios from 6-10am and 4-7pm on weekdays, 1-5pm on Saturdays and 12pm-4pm on Sundays. All networked programming originates from Global Radio's London headquarters, including the syndicated Vodafone Big Top 40 on Sunday afternoons.
Heart Four Counties broadcasts hourly regional news bulletins from 6am-7pm on weekdays and 6am-12pm at weekends. The Milton Keynes newsroom also produces bulletins for the independently-owned Heart Hertfordshire.
National news updates air hourly from Global's London headquarters at all other times.