Stafford FM is a local community radio station serving Stafford, Staffordshire, England. It broadcasts on 107.3 FM and online as an mp3 stream. The station was one of two to apply in 2014 for an FM community radio licence to cover Stafford. The other was BFBS.
There have been a number of volunteer-run radio broadcasting projects in the area at intervals over nearly 20 years, and many of the volunteers have taken part in several of them. An experimental project called the Stafford Broadcasting Society, organised by the late Robert Leighton (an electronics engineer and part-time presenter on Radio Caroline) carried out a restricted service licence (RSL) broadcast in the mid-1990s, using a transmitter near Hopton.
Stafford FM was first set up in 2001 to do 28-day RSL FM trials, serving Stafford and the surrounding area from studios in Gaol Mews and a transmitter near Hopton. It aimed to gain a permanent small-scale commercial radio licence from the then regulator, the Radio Authority. A total of four RSLs at six-month intervals were carried out between 2001 and 2003. By then the Radio Authority had been replaced by Ofcom, which announced that no more small-scale commercial radio licenses were going to be handed out, so the project was put on ice indefinitely.
Stafford FM re-emerged as a community station in 2011, launching online. At the time, the station was based in studios on Marston Road, Stafford. While at the Marston Road studios, the station held three RSL licences, using a transmitter at the same Hopton site as the earlier project. This was in an attempt to gain a community radio licence for the town.
After a falling out of key members during December 2012, Stafford FM went off air for a time, until, on Sunday 3 February, the station re-launched as XL FM. This was branded under a re-structuring, and the station promised a variety of shows and a wide range of music. However, it was announced on the 19th August 2013 that the station would revert to its original name.
Stafford FM now
Stafford FM now broadcasts online from studios on Mount Steet, Stafford, near to Stafford Market. As well as the mainstream daytime programming, the station carries specialist programming at night, and covers local sport, including live match commentaries on Stafford Rangers FC, Brocton FC and Stafford Town FC. It is funded by advertising, sponsorship and donations. The station is structured as a company limited by guarantee and owned by members. It has no shareholders.
The station broadcast its eighth FM broadcast trial on Monday 31 March 2014, using a transmitter in the town centre. The station started broadcasting on 107.3 FM on 25th April 2015.
Stafford FM has a steering group, including the Leader of Stafford Borough Council, Mike Heenan, Councillor Patrick Farrington, Olympic Archer Alison Williamson, local businessman and Town Centre Partnership member Jonathan Price, Chair of the Clinical Commissions Group Dr. Anne Marie Houlder and Founder of the Francesco Group of Hairdressing Francesco Dellicompagni.
Current daytime line up
- Stafford’s Own Breakfast Show - 07:00 - 10:00 AM
- The Mid Morning Show - 10:00 - 12:00 AM
- Big E’s Afternoons - 12:00 - 15:00 PM
- The Home Time Show - 15:00 - 18:00 PM
As well as the daytime shows, the station carries specialist programming at night, varying from Soul to Rock'n'Roll.
- http://radiotoday.co.uk/2014/07/27-community-applications-for-the-midlands/ Radio Today | 27 community applications for the Midlands
- http://radiotoday.co.uk/2011/08/former-signal-staff-revamp-stafford-fm/ Radio Today | Former Signal staff revamp Stafford FM
- http://radiotoday.co.uk/2013/01/stafford-station-re-structures-for-2013/ Radio Today | Stafford station re-structures for 2013
- http://www.staffordshirenewsletter.co.uk/XL-FM-reverts-original-Stafford-FM/story-20158361-detail/story.html XL FM reverts to original Stafford FM name | Staffs Newsletter