The Breeze (Yeovil & South Somerset)
|Frequency||105.6 MHz and 106.6 MHz|
|First air date||26 October 2003|
|Audience share||9.5% (September 2007, )|
|Owner||Celador Radio Broadcasting|
The Breeze (formerly Ivel FM and Midwest Radio) is a United Kingdom radio station that broadcasts on 105.6 & 106.6 FM to Yeovil, South Somerset and West Dorset and is part of The Breeze network of stations.
The station was originally called Ivel FM. In 2002, the radio station along with YDR FM, Mirage FM and Merlin FM bid for the licence to serve Yeovil. Ivel FM was victorious and commenced broadcasting in October 2003.
In its final 13th year of statutory life (2003), the Radio Authority awarded its 150th analogue radio licence - on this occasion for the South Somerset area of Yeovil. Four applicants entered the running with the winner being RIL Ltd backed by Launch Director James Richards, now owns and runs Approach Motoring School and Approach Driver Academy Ltd, who came up with the name Ivel FM, because it so symbolises the broadcast area. Ilchester (Ivelchester) and Ilminster (Ivelminster) from the Anglo-Saxon heritage. Ivel FM offered a friendly locally involved radio station aimed at the 25-64 age bracket, with coverage of local news and information and conversation on life in the county and area. Musically, popular favourites from four decades. . Amongst the management of Ivel FM, there was ex-Orchard FM's Christine Haigh, Yeovil Town's Chairman John Fry and Launch Director James Richards, previously Station Manager of Vale FM in Shaftesbury. In its time, the RA issued what's turned out to be an average of 1 new station per month. Ivel FM became operational in October 2003 covering Chard and Ilminster and Sherborne. The launch was deemed to one of the most successful in the RA’s history.
The station's programme controller and breakfast presenter was Steve Carpenter. He has been presenting the Breakfast Show since 2004 and has worked in radio since 1985, previously at DevonAir Radio, Orchard FM, 107.7 WFM and BBC Radio Devon.
Other presenters at the station included Neil Quigley, who is now hosting a programme elsewhere, Dan Gold, David Gale, Tim Ley, Phil Clements and Kevin Hann. Scott Temple and Matt Crabb also joined the line up and continued their shows after the Midwest Radio rebrand.
The owners subsequently rebranded the station, along with Vale FM as Midwest Radio. The old TLRC branding disappeared, and the stations shared a single website at www.midwestradio.co.uk. The two stations constitute a mini-network with off-peak shows being simulcast on both stations. In 2011 all split shows were dropped and all programming originated from the broadcast center in Yeovil. A single breakfast show was launched with split content relevant to the 'Somerset & West Dorset' (Ivel) and 'North Dorset' (Vale) broadcast areas. The show was hosted by Steve Carpenter, news and sport was read by Greg Bown and the show was produced by Matt Crabb. Former Orchard FM presenter, Laura Jones replaced Matt Crabb before the station rebranded to The Breeze.
According to RAJAR Midwest Radio reached up to 42,000 adults a month with nearly half a million listening hours.