Heart Sussex and Surrey
|City of license||Brighton|
|Broadcast area||Sussex and Surrey|
|Frequency||96.9, 97.5 102, 102.4, 102.7 & 103.5 MHz,
DAB 10B, 10C
|Audience share||9.8% (March 2011, )|
Heart Crawley & Surrey
Heart Sussex and Surrey is a local radio station owned and operated by Global Radio as part of the Heart network. It broadcasts to Sussex and Surrey from studios in the Portslade area of Brighton. The station launched on Monday 26 July 2010 as a result of a merger between Heart Sussex (formerly Southern FM) and Mercury FM.
The regional station originally broadcast as two separate stations - Southern Sound began broadcasting to Brighton and parts of West Sussex in August 1983 and Mercury FM broadcast to the Reigate and Crawley areas from October 1984 onwards. In addition, Southern Sound ran a separate broadcasting service for East Sussex from February 1989 until the Radio Authority merged the two licenses for East and West Sussex to form one station.
Under the ownership of Global Radio, Southern FM was rebranded as Heart Sussex on 22 June 2009 while Mercury FM retained its local identity and became part of The Hit Music Network. By this time, both stations' local output had become restricted to breakfast and weekday drivetime programming only.
On 21 June 2010, Global Radio announced it would merge the two stations as part of plans to restructure the Heart Network. The new station began broadcasting from Brighton on Monday 26 July 2010, with a sales office and newsroom retained in Crawley.
Local programming is produced and broadcast from Heart's Brighton 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.
The station's local presenters include Tom Evans, Nicola Hume and Jack 'the Lad' (Heart Breakfast) and Mark Watson (weekday drivetime).
Heart Sussex and Surrey broadcasts hourly local news bulletins from 6am-7pm on weekdays and 6am-12pm at weekends. National news updates air hourly from Global's London headquarters at all other times.
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