Radio City (Liverpool)
|Broadcast area||Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales|
|Slogan||Your Music, Your Life|
|Frequency||FM: 96.7 MHz
|First air date||21 October 1974|
|Audience share||8.5% (June 2014, RAJAR)|
|Sister stations||Radio City 2
Radio City 3
Radio City Talk
|Webcast||Radio City Player|
Radio City (previously known as 96.7 City FM and 194 Radio City) is a British Independent Local Radio station, based in Liverpool, and serving Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales. The station is owned & operated by Bauer Radio and forms part of Bauer's City 1 network of stations.
After the introduction of the Sound Broadcasting Act in 1972 which allowed the legal operation of commercial radio in the UK, in 1974, Radio City (Sound of Merseyside) Ltd won the contract to broadcast the Independent Local Radio station for Liverpool and its surrounding areas, with studios originally based in Stanley Street in Liverpool City Centre.
194 Radio City began broadcasting at 5.58am on 21 October 1974, with an announcement by its founding managing director Terry Smith (It's two minutes to six on Monday October 21st 1974. For the very first time, this is 194 Radio City broadcasting to Merseyside). The first song to be played on the station was Stevie Wonder's "You Are the Sunshine of My Life". As reflected in the name, the station originally broadcast on 1548 kHz AM, then known as 194 metres medium wave, from a transmitter at Rainford. The station was also given an FM frequency of 96.7 MHz, but did not begin broadcasting on FM until a few months later, after the transmitter was vandalised. In the early days of Marcher Sound, the evening programmes of the station were simulcasted to the fledgling station, so for a period in the 1980s, Radio City had in theory, four frequencies (Marcher Sound aired on 95.4 MHz and 1260 kHz).
In 1989, the Conservative government enforced new regulation to enable better choice by ceasing the simulcasting of radio stations on both AM and FM. Radio City split its frequencies by continuing its top 40 format on FM under the recently introduced new name City FM. On AM, a new talk station was launched called City Talk 1548 AM. This was unusual as most stations launched 'golden oldie' stations on their former AM frequencies. The City Talk experiment proved short-lived and Radio City Gold launched in its place in 1991, later known as City Gold. The AM service rebranded as Magic 1548 on Monday 17 March 1997.
In 1998, the company was bought out by EMAP Radio (now Bauer Radio), who renamed the main FM station back to a modern version of its original name, as Radio City 96.7, the name it still uses currently. Two years later, the station left its original Stanley Street base and on Tuesday 18 July 2000, Radio City began broadcasting St. John's Beacon, which in the past was a revolving restaurant and viewing platform.
The City Talk format was revived when, on 9 November 2006, it was announced by Ofcom that Radio City had beaten competition from rival broadcasters to win a new FM licence for a talk station for the Liverpool area. The new City Talk launched on 28 January 2008 and broadcasts on 105.9FM. Due to poor listening figures, the station has since dropped most of its presenters and had a format change which means, outside of peak listening hours like breakfast and drivetime, the station now broadcasts a mix of classic hit music similar to the music played on sister station Magic 1548, although under the format change the station is not allowed to simulcast with Magic, only Radio City.
In September 2014, Bauer announced it would extend the Radio City brand by reviving the name on Magic 1548 as Radio City 2 and launching a new localised version of DAB station The Hits Radio, known as Radio City 3. The rebrand took place on 5 January 2015, with Radio City 3 due to launch on 19 January 2015. Radio City Talk was not affected.
The 96.7 FM signal comes from the Allerton Park transmitter in south-east Liverpool, which also transmits BBC Radio Merseyside on 95.8 FM. There is also a transmitter in the Mersey (Queensway) Tunnel. There are also DAB digital radio transmitters at St John's Beacon, Billinge Hill (in St Helens, which also carries Wish FM), and Hope Mountain (near Wrexham). The Billinge Hill site has the strongest digital signal. Radio City 2 broadcasts on Radio City's original AM frequency from a transmitter at the former Bebington/Bromborough Power Station site.
Programming and presenters
Local programming is produced and broadcast from Radio City's Liverpool studios from 6am-2pm and 3-7pm on weekdays, 2-6pm on Saturdays and 12-4pm on Sundays.
Radio City carries networked programming from sister stations Key 103 in Manchester, Radio Aire in Leeds and Forth 1 in Edinburgh. The Vodafone Big Top 40 is syndicated from Global Radio at its Capital studios in London for broadcast on over 145 commercial radio stations across the UK.
The station's local presenters include Dave Kelly and Leanne Campbell (Leanne and Dave at Breakfast), Alex James (weekday daytime), Lee Butler ("2 O'Clock Anthems" Monday - Friday 2pm - 3pm, Saturday and Sunday afternoons) and Scott Hughes (Home Run).
News and Sport
Radio City broadcasts local news bulletins hourly from 6am to 7pm on weekdays, from 7am to 1pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Headlines are broadcast on the half hour during weekday breakfast and drivetime shows, alongside sport and traffic bulletins.
Radio City also airs extensive sports programming, focusing largely on Liverpool FC and Everton FC. Until the end of the 2014-15 season, the station aired live match commentaries of both clubs. The station now airs extensive talk programming, including a twice-weekly Legends phone-in on Monday and Friday evenings hosted by John Aldridge and Graeme Sharp, a Saturday lunchtime show (Saints and Snods) with Ian St John and Ian Snodin and match updates on Saturday afternoons.
- "Advert showing the new names and frequencies of City FM and City Talk in 1989.". The Brian Jones Radio City Tribute Website. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- Granada Reports footage of Magic 1548 launch
- Ofcom lets Bauer put music on its Liverpool all-talk station, guardian.co.uk, 12 May 2009
- All Bauer Place radio stations to get new logos, RadioToday, 11 November 2014]
- Radio City - DJs
- Radio City to cut back football commentaries, Radio Today, 22 July 2015
- New football legends phone-in for Radio City, Radio Today, 6 August 2015