Radio Wave 96.5

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96.5 FM Radio Wave
City Blackpool
Broadcast area The Fylde: FM
Slogan Today's Best Mix
Frequency 96.5 MHz
Live Stream Real/WM
First air date 25 May 1992
Format Adult Contemporary
Audience share 11.7% (December 2009, [1])
Transmitter coordinates 53°48′57″N 3°03′18″W / 53.8159°N 3.0551°W / 53.8159; -3.0551Coordinates: 53°48′57″N 3°03′18″W / 53.8159°N 3.0551°W / 53.8159; -3.0551
Owner Wireless Group

Radio Wave 96.5 is a British Independent Local Radio station that serves the Blackpool and Fylde coast areas of Lancashire, owned and operated by Wireless Group. The station broadcasts from a specially-constructed transmitter aerial atop Blackpool Tower. It was originally called Radio Wave and has also been known as The Wave 96.5.


In the late 1980s, local businessman John Barnett started lobbying the radio industry regulator for a distinct Independent Local Radio (ILR) licence for the Blackpool and Fylde area. The licence was awarded in 1992[2] and Radio Wave began broadcasting at 7am on 25 May 1992 with an introduction from its founder. The first presenter on-air was Neil Sexton and the first record played was "Simply the Best" by Tina Turner. The official launch took place on a specially erected stage in front of a live audience on the promenade by Blackpool Tower and featured Les Dawson and Derek Batey together with other local celebrities.

In its first year of broadcasting the station won a Sony Radio Academy Awards Gold Award and was commended in the Local Station of the Year category.[2]

In August 1996, Radio Wave was confirmed by RAJAR as the most listened-to radio station in the area, ahead of fourteen other stations which were available including BBC Radio 1, which had half the amount of listeners locally.[3] In 2000 Barnett received an M.B.E. for services to radio broadcasting.[4] He is now the station's chairman.

Transmission area[edit]

Radio Wave broadcasts from studios based on Mowbray Drive in the Layton area of Blackpool, with the signal coming from the top of the world famous Blackpool Tower. The station can be heard from Fleetwood in the Wyre district, in the northwest corner of the Fylde, Preston to the east and Southport, 14.8 miles (23.8 km) west-southwest of Preston. Radio Wave can also be received as far north as Shap Fell in Cumbria.


Local programming is produced and broadcast from Radio Wave's Blackpool studios from 6am-7pm on weekdays, 6am-6pm on Saturdays and 8am-12pm on Sundays. Networked programming originates from UTV's Signal Radio studios in Stoke-on-Trent. The Vodafone Big Top 40 is produced by Global Radio at its Capital studios in London for broadcast on 145 commercial radio stations in the UK.

The station's local presenters include Ged Mills and Hayley Kay (weekday breakfast) and Ian Shepherd (The Home Run).[5]

News and Sport[edit]

Radio Wave broadcasts local news bulletins hourly from 6am to 6pm on weekdays and from 8am to 12pm on weekends. Headlines are broadcast on the half-hour during weekday breakfast and drivetime shows.[6] The station also simulcasts hourly Sky News Radio bulletins at all other times.

The station also broadcasts a live sports programme on Saturday afternoons, including live match commentaries on Blackpool FC league and cup matches during the football season.


  1. ^ "Listening Figures – Quarterly Listening". RAJAR. Retrieved 23 September 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "An application to Ofcom for the Independent Local Radio Licence covering Preston, Leyland and Chorley" (PDF). Section 105 (A). Ofcom. 7 September 2006. p. 4. Retrieved 23 September 2008.  Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "On the crest of a wave!". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. 15 August 1996. Retrieved 23 September 2008. 
  4. ^ "The Queen's Birthday Honours – MBEs: A – K". BBC News. 16 June 2000. Retrieved 23 September 2008. 
  5. ^ Radio Wave - On Air
  6. ^ Radio Wave public file

External links[edit]