Northsound Radio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Coordinates: 57°07′29″N 2°05′57″W / 57.1248°N 2.0992°W / 57.1248; -2.0992 Northsound Radio was the name for the original Independent Local Radio station broadcast from Aberdeen and serving the north-east of Scotland. In 1995, the station split to become two separate stations.


Until summer 1981, the only local radio output available to listeners in the North East of Scotland was a regional opt-out from the BBC at Beechgrove, which broadcast specialist music programmes for a couple of hours a week along with some opt-out regional news coverage. When a commercial radio franchise for Aberdeen, Peterhead and the surrounding areas was advertised by the then-regulator, the Independent Broadcasting Authority, a group of local businessmen applied under the consortium of North of Scotland Radio Ltd and won the franchise.

After a change of name, Northsound Radio commenced broadcasting at 6 am on 27 July 1981 from its original studios in an old schoolhouse on Kings Gate, near Anderson Drive in the city. Originally, the station was broadcast from 6 am to 8 pm each day on 1035 kHz (290 metres) and 96.9 FM (VHF).

For a two-year period from 1994, the station was the main sponsor of Aberdeen Football Club, with the logo appearing on the players' shirts.[1]

In 1995, Northsound split its services to become Northsound 1 and Northsound 2. Northsound 1 broadcasts on 96.9FM and plays popular music from the 1990s to today whilst Northsound 2 follows a 'classic gold' style, with music from the 1950s to today alongside some specialist programming. Both stations now also broadcast on DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting – i.e. Digital Radio).

On Tuesday 3 April 2018, Northsound 2 ceased broadcasting on 1035 AM and became a digital-only station on DAB and online. It is the first commercial radio station in Scotland - and the first of Bauer's local stations - to cease analogue broadcasting in favour of a digital switchover.[2]

Free concerts[edit]

From 1997 until 2007, Northsound held free music concerts in Aberdeen almost bi-annually. Northsound delivered its first major outdoor event when the Tall Ships arrived in Aberdeen, which called Free at the Quay. Following its success, Free 2000 was staged at the Queen’s Links at Aberdeen Beach followed by Free at the Dee at Duthie Park.

Due to the numbers attending, Northsound decided to move the event to Hazlehead Park and the event was renamed to simply Free 2007. More than 30,000 people attended Free 2007 which saw Beverley Knight, McFly, Shayne Ward, Booty Luv, MacDonald Brothers, Ali Love, Unklejam and others perform free.

Northsound are also sponsors and organisers of Aberdeen's free Hogmanay street party, where in previous years stars such as Sandi Thom, Travis and Amy MacDonald have played to large crowds.

Notable DJ's[edit]

  • Nicky Campbell - now a BBC journalist and television presenter.[3][4]
  • Robin Galloway - later became a continuity announcer and newsreader for Grampian Television. He now currently presents the breakfast show on Heart Radio in Glasgow.[5]
  • Alan Fisher - worked at the station as a reporter/newsreader and is now a senior correspondent with the global news channel, Al Jazeera English based in the United States.[6]
  • Bobby Hain - presenter in 1980s, now head of channels at STV
  • Edi Stark - went on to produce programmes for BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio 4.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The history of the blue kit, Aberdeen Football Club, 27 June 2017
  2. ^ Northsound 2 to switch off AM radio service, Radio Today, 8 March 2018
  3. ^ "BBC NEWS, programmes, now you're talking, Nicky Campbell", BBC News, BBC, retrieved 17 February 2015
  4. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (14 October 2012), "Nicky Campbell interview: 'Up north? For me, this is down south'", The Guardian, retrieved 17 February 2015
  5. ^ Pickles, Kate (5 June 2013), "Robin Galloway and Boogie in ratings battle", The Scotsman, retrieved 17 February 2015
  6. ^ "Point of law - The Diary, 8 April 2010", The Herald Scotland, 8 April 2010, retrieved 17 February 2015