Smooth North East
|Slogan||Your Relaxing Music Mix|
|Frequency||97.5 MHz (Main),
101.2 MHz (Hexham),
107.5 MHz (Newcastle/Gateshead),
107.7 MHz (Teesside),
DAB - MXR North East, MXR Yorkshire
|First air date||8 January 2008|
|Sister stations||Capital FM
|Website||Smooth North East|
Smooth North East is a regional radio station owned by Communicorp and operated by Global Radio as part of the Smooth radio network. It broadcasts to North East England from studios in Newcastle. The station was designed to cover Newcastle and the surrounding areas, Sunderland, Durham, Darlington and Middlesbrough. It can also be heard across much of North Yorkshire as far south as Northallerton, as far north as Morpeth and as far east as Haltwhistle in Northumberland.
GMG Radio ownership
The licence for the station was originally awarded to the Saga Radio Group. However, GMG Radio inherited it following its purchase of Saga in December 2006. GMG had been granted permission by the regulator, Ofcom, to change the format of its Smooth FM stations in London and Manchester, and took the decision to change both the Smooth FM and Saga Stations to a new brand, Smooth Radio. All stations concerned ceased broadcasting on Friday 23 March 2007, and were replaced the following Monday by the new network.
Test transmissions for Smooth North East began on 22 November 2007, and an advertising campaign was launched in the region from Boxing Day. This included television commercials featuring images of some of the music industry's most notable artists, such as Buddy Holly, Diana Ross and Rod Stewart. The station launched at 8am on 8 January 2008. The music format of the station was middle of the road, adult contemporary music, aimed at an audience aged 45 and over.
In 2010 GMG announced that it would be merging its five Smooth stations in England to create a nationwide Smooth Radio service based in Manchester. The new station was launched on 4 October 2010 and could be heard both on DAB and on the locally on the FM frequencies.
Global Radio franchisee under Communicorp ownership
Smooth Radio's output was relocated to new owner Global Radio's Leicester Square headquarters from 1 October 2013, a move that coincided with a major overhaul of its schedule, and the closure of Smooth 70s after 21 months on air.
On 4 February 2014, the Radio Today website reported that Ofcom had given Global Radio permission to remove Smooth from the Digital One platform, and to replace it with a service playing music from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Under this agreement, Smooth would continue to broadcast on its regional frequencies, but would be required to provide seven hours of local output per day.
The local studios are now shared with Global-owned stations Capital North East and Heart North East. In May 2015, all three stations moved to new studios at Wellbar Central in Newcastle city centre.
Local programming is produced and broadcast from Smooth's Newcastle studios from 6-10am and 4-8pm on weekdays and 2-6pm at weekends. All networked programming originates from Global Radio's London headquarters.
Smooth North East broadcasts hourly news updates every hour every day. Regional news bulletins from 6am-7pm on weekdays and 6am-12pm at weekends. The bulletins are produced for Communicorp by Global Radio's Newcastle newsroom, which also produces bulletins for Heart North East and Capital North East.
National news updates air hourly from Global's London headquarters at all other times.
- "Global welcomes Smooth Radio to London HQ". Radio Today. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
- "Smooth Radio 70s to close after 21 months". Radio Today. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
- Sandle, Paul (6 February 2014). "Denis O'Brien buys eight UK radio stations from Global Radio". Reuters. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Smooth Radio to be removed from Digital 1". Radio Today. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Global moves to new studios in the North East, Radio Today, 22 May 2015
- Smooth Radio - North East presenters
- Smooth North East
- A smooth star is born in the North East (GMG Radio press release about the launch from August 2007)
- Smooth Radio starts testing (Radio Today, 18 December 2007)