Touch FM (Coventry)
|Broadcast area||Coventry, England|
|Slogan||We Never Grew Up|
|First air date||28 August 1990|
The station originally launched as Radio Harmony on 28 August 1990 on 102.6 MHz FM. In 1995, it rebranded as Kix 96 and changed frequency to 96.2 MHz FM. Under the management of Muff Murfin, Kix earned a reputation as a training ground for some of the UK radio industry's up-and-coming talents including Chris Brooks, Dave Kelly and Perry Spillar. Nic Tuff was the station's launch programme controller and breakfast presenter, who is probably best-remembered for a 1998 April Fools' joke in which he called Nelson Mandela at home, pretending to be Tony Blair. The stunt attracted some attention from the international press.
CN Group acquisition
The CN Group lobbied government regulatory body Ofcom in 2005 to amend the station's format in order to bring it closer to the adult-contemporary formats of its sister stations in the South Midlands (all later rebranded as Touch FM). One of the proposed changes included a request for the removal of the obligation to provide a weekly programme of Irish music. An objection from Coventry rivals Mercia FM contributed towards Ofcom rejecting the request. As a result, the station's format obligations dictate a different playlist to that of the other members of the Touch network, but nonetheless the station now has a more adult sound than that prior to CN ownership. The station was issued a 'yellow card' by Ofcom in April 2006 for a violation of the 'spirit of its format' following a decision to move the Irish music programme to an 'inaccessible' overnight time slot.
On 18 June 2009 it was announced that a group fronted by former G-Cap Media Operations Director Steve Orchard had bought the CN Radio Midland Stations. He set up the group known as 'Quidem'. On 1 December 2009, Touch Radio was rebranded to Touch FM.
Flip to Adult Hits Format
On Friday, 21 March 2014 at 5:10 pm the station was "seized" during normal programming and a loop of the Queen hit Bohemian Rhapsody was played consistently until 10 am the following Monday morning. At this point, an impressive launch sequence played, confirming the station was relaunching with a new, male-skewed rock format, giving it a distinctive sound compared to the more female-skewed Global Radio and Orion Media operated brands in the area. It now only has presenters between 6 am and 9 am and 4 pm and 7 pm weekdays, and 8 am to 2 pm weekends. There is no longer any networking taken.
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