|Branding||This is Heart|
|Slogan||Turn up the Feel Good!|
|Frequency||102.4 & 103.0 MHz, DAB|
|First air date||23 October 1980|
Heart Gloucestershire (formerly Severn Sound) is a local radio station owned and operated by Global Radio as part of the Heart network. It broadcasts to Gloucestershire from studios in Gloucester only 7 hours a day, the rest from London.
Severn Sound started transmissions on 23 October 1980, from its first studio at the "Old Talbot Pub" in Southgate Street, Gloucester. The pub had been bought by local businessmen including Clive Lindley (Chairman of the Roadchef motorway service stations and Chairman of Severn Sound). The station's first employee was Chief Engineer Quentin Howard who converted the pub into the radio station.
The original presenters were Alan Roberts (Head of Music) on Breakfast, Christopher Musk on mid-mornings, Eddie Vickers (Programme Controller) on the Lunchtime News and Topical programme, Laura de Vere on the Afternoon Show and Steve Ellis on Drivetime. There used to be a Sunday lunch show where the presenter would go to various areas of Gloucester and share Sunday lunch with the residents of that house. Jerry Thomas, top Gloucester Comedian, used to host the show, with Christopher Musk.
One, notable, director was the writer Dennis Potter, who played an active role in the station's early years and lived in Ross on Wye. Potter's Pennies from Heaven producer, Kenith Trodd, presented a Sunday programme of 78 records featuring singers such as Al Bowlly, which Todd and Potter had used in Pennies from Heaven. Another Director was England rugby player, Mike Burton, who also started Gulliver's Travels, a sports travel agency.
In 1983, two of the station's engineers were killed on an outside broadcast. The pneumatic mast of their radio car touched an overhead 11 kV power line, whilst they were preparing for a live broadcast from Soudeley Castle, Winchcombe. The inquiry into the accident found Severn Sound guilty of health and safety offences and fined the company £2,500. Many new safety procedures for radio cars were introduced across the whole industry as a result of the accident.
During the Gloucester/Tewkesbury flood crisis of Summer 2007, Severn Sound was forced to move, temporarily, to the GWR FM Bristol Studios, due to a loss of electricity and running water.
In 1990, Severn Sound split frequencies, with its 774 kHz AM frequency being renamed Three Counties Radio, expanding to cover Hereford & Worcester. This was an "oldies" station and was a mix of local programmes and networking from Chiltern Radio Network's Supergold service. Presenters who moved from Severn Sound to Three Counties included Tony Peters & Sally Low Hurry. John Hellings was brought in as breakfast presenter. In 1992, Three Counties Radio was re-branded as Severn Sound Supergold (it also stopped being promoted in Hereford & Worcester) and was re-branded again, in 1996, by new owners GWR as Severn Sound Classic Gold. Ownership rules meant that GWR had to sell all their Classic Gold licences to UBC Media and another re-brand to Classic Gold 774 followed. Today, the heritage name "Severn" is no longer mentioned on 774 AM after it was re-branded again, in 2007, to Gold, and again on 24 March 2014 to Smooth Radio, all programming on 774 AM now comes from London.
In September 2008, it was announced that Severn Sound would become Heart Gloucestershire as part of a national re-branding exercise by owners Global Radio, which has seen twenty-nine stations renamed as Heart Radio.
The new Heart Gloucestershire branding was launched at 6am on Monday 23 March 2009 with local programming broadcast from the above-the-street Bridge Studios, part of the Eastgate Shopping Centre (The Mall) in Gloucester. Local news bulletins on the station are now produced by Heart West Country in Bristol, following the closure of its Gloucester newsroom during the summer of 2010.
Local programming is produced and broadcast from Heart's Gloucester studios from 6-10am and 4-7pm on weekdays, 6-10am 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 Gloucestershire broadcasts hourly local news bulletins from 6am-7pm on weekdays and 6am-12pm at weekends, produced by the Heart West Country news team based in Bristol, which also produces the news service for Heart Wiltshire.
National news updates air hourly from Global's London headquarters at all other times.