Metro Radio

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Metro Radio
Metro Radio logo 2015.png
Broadcast areaTyne and Wear, Northumberland and County Durham
Frequency
  • DAB: 11C
  • FM: 102.6 MHz (Alnwick)
  • 103.0 MHz (Fenham)
  • 103.2 MHz (Hexham)
  • 97.1 MHz (Burnhope)
RDSMETRO
Programming
FormatContemporary hit radio
NetworkHits Radio
Ownership
OwnerBauer
TFM
Greatest Hits Radio North East
History
First air date
15 July 1974 (1974-07-15)
Links
WebcastMetro Radio Player
Websiteplanetradio.co.uk/metro/ Edit this at Wikidata

Metro Radio is an Independent Local Radio station in England, owned and operated by Bauer as part of the Hits Radio network. It broadcasts to areas of County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear from Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

As of March 2022, the station has a weekly audience of 328,000 listeners according to RAJAR.

History[edit]

Logo used from 2003 to 2015. (A variant used between 2000 and 2003 had a dark blue background)

Launch[edit]

The Newcastle-based station, broadcasting to north-east England, launched on 15 July 1974.[1] The first breakfast show was presented by Don Dwyer, an Australian radio presenter formerly at ABC and the United Biscuits Network. The first show included messages of congratulations from Kenny Everett at the equivalent local commercial station in London, Capital Radio.

Studios[edit]

Metro Radio on the Swan House roundabout in Newcastle upon Tyne

The station transmitted from a studio in Swalwell, Gateshead, which in later years would be adjacent to the Metrocentre and is now Metropolitan House—a business centre providing serviced office accommodation. Metro, and sister station Magic 1152, moved in 2005 to the former BT building previously known as Swan House – now known as 55° North – next to the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle upon Tyne. In April 2021, it was announced that Metro Radio were relocating their studios once more. Later in 2021 as planned, they relocated their broadcasting studios to the Grade II listed building, Gainsborough House on Newcastle's Grey Street. Before the move, the studio had undergone a purposed fit-out which included 2 additional studios and a contemporary, flexible office space.

Football commentary[edit]

Until 2005 the station broadcast live football commentary for the region's two biggest clubs – Newcastle United and Sunderland. In an attempt to boost ratings, the football commentary was stopped. However, a negative response from football fans prompted the owners to cover all Newcastle and Sunderland games on sister station Magic 1152.

TFM co-location[edit]

From 8 April 2013, all Metro Radio's programming has been shared with TFM. However, the Metro Radio branding was retained along with separate advertising and local news bulletins.[2] The two stations were able to co-locate without consultation, for the Metro Radio licence area is located in one approved broadcast area (north-east England).[3]

Programming[edit]

Networked programming originates from Bauer's Manchester headquarters.[4][5]

Regional programming is produced and broadcast from Bauer's Newcastle studios, weekdays 6-10am (Steve & Karen's Breakfast Show) and is syndicated with sister station TFM.[6]

The station's long-running talk show Night Owls, presented by Alan Robson since 1983, ran for over 40 years before airing its final edition in June 2019.[7] It then aired weekly on GHR North East and GHR Teesside until 24 April 2022, after which Robson moved into making material for online distribution only.[8]

News[edit]

Bauer's Newcastle newsroom broadcasts local news bulletins hourly from 6am-7pm on weekdays, and from 7am-1pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Headlines are broadcast on the half-hour during weekday breakfast and drivetime shows, alongside traffic bulletins.

National bulletins from Sky News Radio are carried overnight with bespoke networked bulletins on weekend afternoons, usually originating from Bauer's Leeds newsroom.

Notable former presenters[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Sony Radio Academy Awards[edit]

Year Award Entry Result
2007 Best live event coverage Alan Shearer Testimonial Coverage Gold
2011 Best breaking news coverage Manhunt - The Raoul Moat Story - Metro Radio News Nominated
2011 Best live event coverage Great North Run Coverage Silver
2012 Speech Radio Personality of the Year Alan Robson Nominated
2012 News Journalist of the Year Metro Radio News Team Silver
2013 Best Speech Programme Alan Robson's Nightowls Bronze
2013 Breakfast Show of the Year (under 10 million) Steve and Karen's Breakfast Show Silver
2013 Station of the Year (1 Million plus) Metro Radio Gold
2014 Speech Radio Personality of the Year Alan Robson Silver
2014 Best Coverage of a Live Event Great North Run 2013 Silver
2014 Station of the Year (1 Million plus) Metro Radio Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Metro Radio Media UK
  2. ^ TFM leaves Teesside to share with Metro, RadioToday, 5 April 2013
  3. ^ Leading MEP to demand action from Ofcom over TFM/Metro merger The Northern Echo, 7 April 2013
  4. ^ Hits Radio Network stations drop local weekend programmes, Radio Today, 30 May 2019
  5. ^ Bauer to network drivetime across 11 licences in North and Midlands, Radio Today, 5 August 2019
  6. ^ Metro Radio - Public File
  7. ^ Night Owls on Metro Radio to end, Sonia Sharma, The Chronicle, 14 June 2019
  8. ^ Alan Robson's Night Owls to end on radio, but beloved presenter has new plans, Simon Meechan, The Chronicle, 4 April 2022
  9. ^ "Lisa Shaw: BBC Radio Newcastle presenter dies aged 44". BBC News. 23 May 2021. Retrieved 28 May 2021.

External links[edit]