Planet Rock (radio station)
|Broadcast area||United Kingdom|
|Branding||'Where Rock Lives'|
105.2 MHz (West Midlands-until 7/9/2015)
11D (England/Wales/N. Ireland)
Virgin Media: 924
|First air date||15 November 1999|
|Audience share||0.7% (March 2014, RAJAR)|
|Sister stations||Absolute Radio
Planet Rock is a multiple Sony Award-winning radio station in the United Kingdom owned by Bauer Radio. The station broadcasts classic rock music. It is available on FM in the West Midlands, nationally via DAB on Digital One, Sky, Virgin Media, Freesat and Online. Planet Rock forms part of Bauer's National portfolio of radio brands.
Planet Rock was founded in 1999 as the only classic rock radio station in the UK at that time.
On 11 February 2008, the previous owner GCap Media (now Global Radio), announced that the station would close by 31 March 2008, along with sister station theJazz, unless a buyer was found. According to a statement by former presenter Fish, this was not due to the profitability of Planet Rock itself, which had been reported to be good, but rather to GCap's overall financial state. The station's relative popularity on digital radio brought controversy to the closure threat. Although theJazz ceased broadcasting on schedule, a campaign by listeners meant that a number of buyers expressed interest in Planet Rock, including a consortium publicly headed by Queen guitarist Brian May.
On 4 June 2008, Planet Rock announced that it had been sold to a consortium led by Malcolm Bluemel and supported by Tony Iommi, Ian Anderson, Gary Moore, and Fish. There was no break in transmission and the programming remained unchanged.
On 25 September 2012, it was reported that Malcolm Bluemel was looking for a buyer for the station.
On 23 May 2013, Bauer Media announced that the output of Planet Rock would become available on FM in the West Midlands on the frequency used by Kerrang! Radio in Birmingham from 14 June 2013. All programming will come from London with the Birmingham studios closing and Kerrang! continuing in a different form on digital platforms.
From 7 September 2015, the 105.2 FM frequency will be taken over by Absolute Radio.
Since 2006 Planet Rock has featured an array of rock star presenters who have either fronted limited run series or hosted long running weekly or monthly shows.
The syndicated Alice Cooper radio show was edited in the UK for a breakfast audience as the Breakfast With Alice Cooper show, which ran in the 6-9am slot until 17 January 2011 when his show became Nights With Alice Cooper and broadcast at 9pm each weeknight and on Saturdays at 7pm.
Current star presenters include Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott, who has presented a weekly Saturday evening show at 6pm since June 2010 and blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa who presented a weekly show on Sundays at 6pm left at the end of March 2013. The Hairy Bikers recently joined the station to present The Hairy Rock Show on Sundays at 10am, replacing Al Murray.
A number of other star presenters have hosted shows on Planet Rock: Rick Wakeman hosted a Saturday morning show for five years until December 2010; Gary Moore hosted the award winning Blues Power series in 2008; Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi presented two series of Black Sunday for the station; Jethro Tull singer Ian Anderson presented a series called Under The Influence; Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera presented two series for the station in 2007 and 2009 which looked at influential guitar players and guitar playing styles; Former Marillion frontman Fish hosted two series of the award winning Fish On Fridays; Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham hosted one series which aired in 2010; Europe singer Joey Tempest hosted a series on Sunday evenings until early 2011 and Francis Rossi of Status Quo hosted a thirteen-part series until June 2011.
Awards and listening figures
In 2005, Planet Rock was awarded UK Digital Station Of The Year at the Xtrax British Radio Awards. During the following year the station picked up Digital Radio Station Of The Year at the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards.
On 12 May 2008, Planet Rock won three Sony awards, Bronze in the Multi-Platform radio category, Silver for Fish's "Fish on Friday" show, and (for the second time) the Gold Award for Digital Terrestrial Radio Station of the Year.
At the BT Digital Music Awards in 2008, Planet Rock received the Best Radio Station Award.
In 2009 and 2011, the station picked up awards for Commercial Radio Station Of The Year at the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards and Best Digital Radio Station at the Freesat Awards.
In 2010 the station won the Digital Station Of The Year Award at the Sony Radio Academy Awards
In the most recent RAJAR figures (Q2 2013) Planet Rock reached a weekly audience of 1,296,000.
- "Planet Rock Rocks Louder Than Ever". Planet Rock. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2008-02-11.
- "Two GCap digital stations closed". BBC News Online. 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2008-02-11.
- "Brian May on mission to save Planet Rock". Digital Spy. 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
- "PLANET ROCK SOLD". Planet Rock Online. 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2008-06-04.[dead link]
- "Loss-making station Planet Rock for sale". Radio Today. 2012-09-25. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
- "Bauer Media UK Acquires Planet Rock" (Press release). Bauer Media Group. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- "Digital Terrestrial Station Of The Year". Sony Radio Academy. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
- "Station Imaging Award". Sony Radio Academy. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
- "Digital Terrestrial Station Of The Year". Sony Radio Academy. Retrieved 2008-05-13.