Metro 2 Radio
|City||Newcastle upon Tyne|
|Broadcast area||Tyne and Wear|
|Slogan||The Greatest Hits for the North East|
MW: 1152 kHz|
|First air date||March 1989|
Metro 2 Radio is a local radio station owned and operated by Bauer Radio as part of the City 2 network. It broadcasts to County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear from studios in Newcastle. It broadcasts on 1152 AM and on DAB radio.
Great North Radio or G.N.R as it was sometimes called was formed in March 1989 using the AM frequencies of Metro Radio and Radio Tees . This happened after the Metro Radio group decided to split the FM and AM frequencies up.
GNR's output consisted of mellow music from the 1950s through to the 1980s, including current hits that fitted the format. There were also specialist programmes each evening, including Country Music, Jazz, and Classical.
In 1996, Emap bought Metro Radio and at the start of 1997, Emap decided to scrap Great North Radio and replaced it with local stations under the brandname of Magic, with a new format of Hot Adult Contemporary music. Magic 1152 launched on 19th February 1997.
In December 2001, EMAP decided that it was more economical for the Magic network to share off-peak programmes and in line with the other Magic AM stations began networking between 10am-2pm, and 7pm-6am. During these hours it was simply known as Magic, although there were local commercial breaks, and local news on the hour.
In January 2003 after a sharp decline in listening, the station ceased networking with the London station, Magic 105.4, and a regional northern network was created with Manchester's Magic 1152 at the hub at the weekend and the Newcastle station as the hub during the week. This arrangement remained until 2006, when all network programmes were broadcast from Newcastle. During networked hours, local adverts are aired, as well as a local news summary on the hour during the day. IRN is taken in the evening and overnight.
From July 2006, more networking was introduced across the Northern Magic AM network leaving just the legal minimum of 4 hours a day of programming - the breakfast show - presented from the local studios. All other programming was networked from Newcastle however some is also produced in Manchester and now London. Shows are recorded also on Saturdays from 1-6pm.
On 4 March 2013, the one remaining local show - weekday breakfast - became a syndicated regional programme as on this day the programme, presented by Anna Foster, started broadcasting on Tees-side sister station Magic 1170. The regional breakfast show was axed in December 2014 ahead of the launch of Metro 2 and all programming is networked with the other Bauer AM stations in the North although local news, weather and travel continue to be broadcast as opt-outs during the day.
The majority of Metro 2 Radio's programming is taken from the Bauer City 2 network, although there are separate shows for northern England at peak times, including weekday breakfast and drive time.
Metro Radio produces some of the network's output, with other programming originating from Key 2 in Manchester, Clyde 2 in Clydebank, Forth 2 in Edinburgh, Tay 2 in Dundee and Bauer's headquarters at Golden Square, Soho.
News and Sport
Metro 2 Radio broadcasts local news bulletins hourly from 6am to 7pm on weekdays, from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays and from 9am to 12pm on Sundays. Headlines are broadcast on the half-hour during weekday breakfast and drivetime shows, alongside sport and traffic bulletins.
National bulletins from Sky News Radio are carried overnight with bespoke networked bulletins at weekends, produced from Key Radio's newsroom in Manchester. Extended sports coverage is featured in the network's Game On programme on Saturday afternoons.