Jack 2 (radio station)

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Jack FM 2 Logo.png
Broadcast area Oxford
Slogan Playing What You Want
Frequency 107.9 MHz, DAB and online [1]
First air date 14 February 1997 (as Oxygen 107.9), 20 August 2013 (as Jack FM 2)
Format Contemporary
Owner Passion Radio (Oxford) Ltd part of OXIS Media
Website http://www.jack2.com

JACK 2 is an Independent Local Radio station broadcasting in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom on FM, the Oxfordshire DAB multiplex and previously in Surrey and Hampshire on DAB and online. It is a music-heavy station with only limited speech, instead allowing listeners to control the music and submit recordings of themselves to be played (through WhatsApp or the Jack 2 app). The station is aimed at an adult-contemporary audience and plays seven hours per week of specialist music as required by Ofcom.[1] JACK 2 competes with Heart Thames Valley, BBC Oxford and sister station Jack FM Oxfordshire, as well as some online Community Radio and DAB stations in Oxfordshire.

The station allows its listeners to pick all the songs that play in real time. Listeners are able to upvote and downvote songs on the playlist via the website or the station's app. Whatever song is at the top of the list when the previous one finishes is next to play.

Previously known under a variety of names and formats since its inception in 1997 (see history), most recently Glide FM, the station launched in its current incarnation on 20 August 2013.[2]

The station is based at 270 Woodstock Road in north Oxford, formerly the site of Six TV - The Oxford Channel and shared with Jack FM Oxfordshire.


The logo of Oxford's FM 107.9

The origins of the station lie in a student radio station, Oxygen 107.9 which was trialled in November 1995 and launched at 1.07pm on Valentine's Day 1997.[3] It was acquired in late 2000 by Fusion Radio Holdings, which rebranded the station as Fusion 107.9.[4] Fusion merged with the Milestone Group in 2003[5] and the station was relaunched again as Passion 107.9 (and is still legally known as Passion Radio), but was sold to ARI Consultancy (previously known as Absolute Radio International)[6] in 2006, leading to another rebrand as Oxford's FM 107.9 which lasted until August 2010. Following an attempt at a format change in 2010 (see below) and sinking ratings, the station relaunched as Glide FM on 18 August 2010. It relaunched as Jack 2 at 10 am at 20 August 2013.

The interactive format was originally allowed to better differentiate the local programming (9 – 10 am, 11 am – 1 pm, 3 – 4 pm and 7 – 9 pm). Later on, it was expanded to 24 hours a day.

The station has a wide playlist (about 350 songs) which can be influenced by visitors to the website who can request and vote for tracks to be played, then be texted, e-mailed or tweeted on Twitter when they are going to broadcast.[2]

About 15 songs can be heard on the air hourly.

Publicity Stunts[edit]

In September 2006, former Big Brother contestant Eugene Sully (who also worked for the unassociated Sussex-based station Passion Radio) 'took over' the station's output and played The Muppets' 'Mahna Mahna' non-stop for six hours until Passion FM managers came round to his way of thinking that better music should be played on the station, and to be hired as a chief engineer there. This was supposedly a stunt to highlight the relaunch of the station.

The logo of Glide FM

On 16 August 2010 the station became Glee FM, playing only music from the US TV series, Glee.[7] The stunt attracted media attention from across the country and even in America, with stories appearing on Digital Spy,[8] Sky News,[9] The New York Post[10] and even "celebrity blogger" Perez Hilton noting the station's launch.[11] For "legal reasons" the station ceased broadcasting at 5pm on 18 August, relaunching as Glide FM shortly afterwards.[12]

Proposed rebrand[edit]

In February 2010, the station's owners lodged a request with Ofcom to change the station's format to one for over 45-year-olds.[13] The station argued the "transient" nature of students makes it commercially difficult to market a radio station to an audience that leaves the city each year.[14] Several fans of late night "specialist" shows responded to Ofcom's public consultation as well as local business owners. Ofcom considered this, but the Radio Licensing Committee has rejected this proposal.[15] The station responded by saying that changes it had made meant the format change had become less necessary.[16]


External links[edit]