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XFM logo.png
Broadcast area UK
Slogan Music That Rocks
Frequency 104.9 MHz (London), 97.7 MHz (Manchester), 96.3 MHz (Paisley) RDS: __XFM__
12A (London, Central Lancashire, Yorkshire)
12C (Severn Estuary)
11C (Birmingham, Exeter & Torbay, Manchester, Cambridge, Kent, Swindon, Tyne & Wear)
12D (Berkshire & North Hampshire, Coventry, Essex, Peterborough, Wiltshire)
11B (Cornwall, Leicester, Liverpool, Norwich, Teesside, Sussex, Wolverhampton)
12C (Nottingham)
Channel 0113 (Sky)
Channel 723 Freesat
Channel 621 (TalkTalk TV)
Channel 960 (Virgin Media)
Channel 923 (UPC Ireland)
First air date 1 September 1997
Format Alternative music, Rock Music
Audience share 1.2% (London), 2.2% (Manchester), 0.5% (total) (December 2012, [1])
Owner Global Radio
Website www.xfm.co.uk
For other uses, see Xfm (disambiguation).

Xfm is a brand of three commercial radio stations focused on alternative music, primarily indie rock, and owned by Global Radio.


Xfm was created in London in 1992 by Sammy Jacob and Chris Parry (Jacob would later co-found NME Radio in 2008). Xfm subsequently expanded to a network of four stations; there are currently three main Xfm services in London, Manchester and Scotland. Xfm is now also available across most of the country via DAB digital radio.

The station has previously employed a number of DJs that have since gone on to even greater fame including Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington, Stephen Merchant, Simon Pegg, Christian O'Connell, Russell Brand, Justin Lee Collins, Adam and Joe, Alex Zane, Tim Lovejoy and Dermot O'Leary.

On 11 February 2008 GCap Media announced that they would be selling the analogue licences for the Manchester, Scotland and South Wales stations,[1] retaining only XFM London. This was an attempt to shore-up profits and concentrate on 'winning brands'. However, although the sale of the South Wales station went ahead, the sale of the Scotland and Manchester stations was suspended when Global Radio entered into discussions to purchase GCap.

The station became the first ever to release a band's album for free via their website. The album was You Cross My Path by The Charlatans. The station has since entered into arrangements with various other bands to offer free promotional downloads and offers.

Proposed expansion of the XFM Network[edit]

In recent years, XFM has held 28-day Restricted Service Licence broadcasts in a number of British cities, including Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow and on 9 June 2005, the group was awarded a permanent FM broadcasting licence to serve the city of Manchester as XFM Manchester. Also on 4 January 2006, GCap Media relaunched its Central Scotland regional station Beat 106 as XFM Scotland.

In 2005, XFM was among the bidders for the regional North East franchise on 97.5 FM,[2] but this licence was ultimately awarded to Smooth Radio by Ofcom.

In 2000, XFM London was added to a number of DAB multiplexes around the country, and in January 2006 it replaced The Storm on a number of local multiplexes, creating near-national coverage. It is reported that this 'national' version of XFM London (known as XFM UK) will have local content on it (e.g. News, Travel) increasing with time. However, on 11 February 2008 GCap Media announced that they would be selling the analogue license for the Manchester, Scotland and South Wales stations,[3] retaining only XFM London.

This decision was made in an attempt to shore-up profits and concentrate on 'winning brands', calling the former nationalisation strategy into question. After this announcement, in early 2008, breakfast show host Alex Zane admitted on air that the future of the London station was also being reviewed, even making jokey references to perhaps being out of a job soon.


The current stations in the Xfm network are:

  • Xfm London, which has been broadcasting on 104.9 FM in the Greater London area full-time since 1997 (and by Restricted Service Licence from 1992).
  • Xfm Manchester, which was launched on 97.7 FM on 15 March 2006.
  • Xfm Scotland, launched on 96.3 FM from the Paisley area on 7 April 2014.

These three stations now network the vast majority of content, though separate local weekday breakfast, drivetime and weekend breakfast shows remain.

The London variation is also broadcast on numerous Digital Radio multiplexes across the country, allowing Xfm to reach near-national coverage.[4]

Former stations[edit]

Former stations in the network include:


  1. ^ Plunkett, John (11 February 2008). "DAB 'not economically viable'". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  2. ^ XFM application for North East licence from Ofcom site (pdf)
  3. ^ Plunkett, John (11 February 2008). "DAB 'not economically viable'". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  4. ^ Listing of UK local DAB multiplexes and stations thereon

External links[edit]