|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (September 2010)|
|Broadcast area||Bolton & Bury|
|First air date||20 March 1999|
|Audience share||5.4% (March 2010, )|
Originally an RSL (restricted service licence) radio station, the team behind the project won the full-time licence and the station began broadcasting on 20 March 1999.
As an RSL, Tower FM broadcast from Bury via a link to the transmitter on Peel Tower. The radio station only broadcast from Bolton once the main base was established on Gaskell Street, Bolton.
Since that time the station has changed ownership twice and is now owned by UTV Radio.
The target area for the station are the towns of Bolton and Bury although most of Greater Manchester and even parts of Cheshire can receive the station.
In early 2007, the station's owners approached UK media regulator OFCOM to ask permission to move the station's base from Bolton to the Haydock or Newton Le Willows area of Merseyside as part of a plan to house it in a single building with two other stations from the UTV Radio group - Wish FM in Wigan and Wire FM in Warrington. Latterly a decision was made to colocate the three stations at Wish's current site in Orrell, and Tower moved premises in early autumn 2009.
Local programming is produced and broadcast from UTV Radio's North West studios in Orrell from 6am-10am and 2-7pm on weekdays and 6am-6pm on Saturdays, with additional hours for local sports coverage. The three stations based at Orrell, including Wish FM and Wire FM, also broadcast joint regional programming from 10am-2pm on weekdays and 8am-12pm on Sundays.
Networked programming originates from UTV's Signal Radio studios in Stoke-on-Trent. The Vodafone Big Top 40 is produced by Global Radio at its Capital studios in London for broadcast on 145 commercial radio stations in the UK.
The station's local presenters include Glen Hunt (weekday breakfast) and Jon Holling (The Home Run).
News and Sport
Tower FM broadcasts local news bulletins hourly from 6am to 6pm on weekdays, from 8am to 1pm on Saturdays and from 8am to 12pm on Sundays. Headlines are broadcast on the half hour during weekday breakfast and drivetime shows. The station also simulcasts hourly Sky News Radio bulletins at all other times.
The station also broadcasts a live sports programme on Saturday afternoons, including live match commentaries on Bolton Wanderers league and cup matches during the football season.
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