Radio Wave 96.5

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96.5 FM Radio Wave
City of license 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 UTV Radio (UTV Media)
Website Radio Wave Website

Radio Wave 96.5 is a British Independent Local Radio station that serves the Blackpool and Fylde coast areas of Lancashire. The station's output is broadcast from a specially-constructed transmitter aerial which is situated atop Blackpool Tower. The station was originally called Radio Wave and has also been known as The Wave 96.5. The station is owned by UTV Radio which is ultimately owned by UTV Media. The station is home to Ged & Hayley at Breakfast, Roy Lynch on Weekday Mornings/Afternoon and Ian Shepard of the Homerun.

The quarterly listening figures for the station for the period ending June 2008 from RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research Limited) give a 17% market share in its survey area of a total of 240,000 adults (aged 15 and over). The station is listened to by 75,000 (31%) people each week with each listener tuning in an average of eleven hours every week.[1][2]


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[3] and Radio Wave first broadcast at 7am on 25 May 1992 with an introduction from its founder, John Barnett. The first presenter was Neil Sexton, the first record played was "Simply the Best" by Tina Turner and 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. The original daytime line up was Neil Sexton, Simon Tate, Jon Culshaw, John Peters, Ceri Glen, Basil Soper and Andy Mitchell. Louise Woolcock was the first female presenter on Radio Wave and did two unique programmes on 27 June and 4 July 1992.

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.[3]

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.[4] In 2000 Barnett received an M.B.E. for services to radio broadcasting.[5] 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.


The station broadcasts local programming between 6am and 7pm. At other times programs are shared with the rest of the UTV network with Signal 1 being the home station from where they are broadcast. The Vodafone Big Top 40 show on a Sunday is produced by Global Radio and is broadcast from its studios in Leicester Square, London.

Syndicated presenters


  1. ^ a b "Listening Figures – Quarterly Listening". RAJAR. Retrieved 23 September 2008. 
  2. ^ "Radio Wave 96.5 – Latest audience data". June 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2008. 
  3. ^ 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. [dead link]
  4. ^ "On the crest of a wave!". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. 15 August 1996. Retrieved 23 September 2008. 
  5. ^ "The Queen's Birthday Honours – MBEs: A – K". BBC News. 16 June 2000. Retrieved 23 September 2008. 

External links[edit]