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The Wave 96.4 FM

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Wave
The Wave logo 2016.png
Broadcast areaSwansea
Neath Port Talbot
East Carmarthenshire
FrequencyFM: 96.4 MHz
DAB: 12A
SloganThe Biggest Hits,
The Biggest Throwbacks
NetworkHits Radio
OwnerBauer Radio
Sister stationsGreatest Hits Radio South Wales
First air date30 September 1974
(as Swansea Sound)
30 September 1995
(as Sound Wave FM)
WebcastPlanet Radio
WebsiteThe Wave

The Wave is a British local radio station owned and operated by Bauer Radio as part of the Hits Radio network. It broadcasts to the Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, and East Carmarthenshire areas of South West Wales.[1][2]


Early years

Initially broadcasting as 95.1 Swansea Sound on 30 September 1974, the station split into two separate services on 30 September 1995, creating a new music-led station called 96.4 Sound Wave when it moved its frequency from 95.1 FM to 96.4 FM, while Swansea Sound continued to broadcast on 1170 AM. The separate stations are based at studios in Gowerton, from where Swansea Sound began broadcasting. In 1998, the FM station changed its name to 96.4 The Wave.[3]


The Wave's former radio logo from 2003.
The Wave's former radio logo from 2003.

The Wave continued providing a local service to the Swansea area. In 2002, The Radio Authority announced plans for a Swansea DAB multiplex to form, allowing The Wave to broadcast on a digital platform under the format of contemporary hit radio.[4] 2003 saw the station adding the South Wales' Hit Music tagline as their slogan[5] as well as issuing out a highly popular competition called A Week on Wheels, which returned the following year as a promotion.[6]

In January 2004, The Wave was officially launched on the new DAB multiplex.[7] The Wave came under management of UTV Radio in 2005, when the company acquired The Wireless Group, the owner of the station in the early 2000s.[8] The station had a tradition of organising Party in the Park in Singleton Park, Swansea for many years, but due to the financial cost, the event ended in 2006.[9] Instead, The Wave began a partnership with Escape into the Park, a similar music event involving mostly contemporary dance music.[10] In 2008, The Wave began using the marketing brand You Love It, We Play It which was processed by UTV Radio.[11] A year later, the station switched to the Today's Best Mix strapline.[12]


The Wave logo used from 2010 to 2016.
The Wave logo used from 2010 to 2016.

The Wave and Swansea Sound were involved in UTV Media's Wales Live scheme, an aborted attempt to provide a service designed to support local news through radio, television and online mediums. The project was set to launch by October 2010, but ultimately failed.[13]

The Wave received an updated logo design which was made into a car sticker, with the inclusion of "DAB and Online" displayed alongside "96.4 FM" on the bottom of the logo. The Wave, along with other local commercial radio stations within the UK, became a part of the Radioplayer UK project, an internet service formed by the BBC, Global Radio and the Guardian Media Group that supplies a listen live feed of UK radio stations across the world.[14][15] The Wave's owner, UTV, was renamed the Wireless Group in 2016.[16]

On 8 February 2019, The Wave was sold alongside Swansea Sound and the Wireless Group's network of local radio stations to Bauer Radio.[17]


In May 2020, Bauer announced that The Wave would join the Hits Radio network, while retaining its localised on-air branding.[18] The Wave began carrying the network's off-peak programming from Manchester from 15 June 2020.[19] The Wave officially joined the Hits Radio network on 20 July 2020.[20]

Coverage area

The station's official Ofcom measured coverage area (MCA) covers the Swansea Bay area.[21]

Music policy

The Wave broadcasts the contemporary hit radio format.[22] The station syndicates Bauer's Hits Radio playlist.[23]

Ofcom describes the format of The Wave as "a music and information station – mainly chart and contemporary but may include older tracks".[24]


Networked programming originates from Bauer’s Manchester studios.[19]

Local programming is produced and broadcast from Bauer’s Swansea studios weekdays from 6am-1pm and 4-7pm.[20]


Bauer’s Swansea newsroom broadcasts local news bulletins hourly from 6am-7pm on weekdays and from 7am-1pm on weekends. Headlines are broadcast on the half-hour during weekday breakfast and drivetime shows.[25]

The station also simulcasts hourly Sky News Radio bulletins at all other times.

See also


  1. ^ Local Radio Licence: Coverage Brief and Specification (Swansea). Ofcom. 1994.
  2. ^ Public File
  3. ^ "Details of 1998 Name Change" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 October 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  4. ^ "2002 – The Wave on DAB". 13 December 2002. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  5. ^ [See Logo in 2000s section for proof]
  6. ^ "Week on Wheels". 12 October 2003. Archived from the original on 14 December 2003. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  7. ^ "DAB 2004". 31 January 2004. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  8. ^ UTV 2005 Takeover Archived 21 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "PITP". 19 June 2005. Retrieved 20 November 2011.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Escape into the Park comes under Swansea Bay festival, therefore, the event is sponsored by The Wave 96.4". 2 June 2006. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  11. ^ "UTV Marketing/Format". Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  12. ^ "New Style 09". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  13. ^ "The Wave and Swansea Sound mentioned in UTV press release". 9 December 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  14. ^ "Radioplayer UK – About". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  15. ^ "Search 96.4 FM The Wave – Radioplayer UK". Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Dozens of local radio stations to vanish across England". The Guardian. 27 May 2020. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  19. ^ a b Radio Today: Hits Radio networking starts on new Bauer stations
  20. ^ a b Bauer starts to roll out Hits and Greatest Hits to new radio stations Stuart Clarkson, Radio Today, 9 July 2020
  21. ^
  22. ^ "CHR Format". Archived from the original on 27 March 2006. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  23. ^ Hits Radio Networking Starts on New Bauer Stations: Radio Today
  24. ^ "The Wave 96.4 OFCOM (see "View Station Format")". Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  25. ^ The Wave public file

External links

This page was last edited on 31 August 2020, at 16:27
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