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BBC Radio WM
BBC Radio WM logo 2020.svg
Broadcast areaWest Midlands conurbation
Frequency95.6 MHz, DAB, Freeview channel 722.
SloganThe sound of Birmingham and the Black Country, and all the music you love
FormatLocal news, talk and music
OwnerBBC Local Radio,
BBC Midlands
First air date
9 November 1970
WebsiteBBC Radio WM

BBC Radio WM is the BBC Local Radio service serving the West Midlands conurbation, operated by BBC Birmingham.[1] Launched on 9 November 1970[2] as BBC Radio Birmingham, it broadcasts from central Birmingham on 95.6 FM, DAB, Freeview and online.


BBC Birmingham 1970s logo.png

Until 2004, BBC WM broadcast from the Pebble Mill studios, in Edgbaston.[1] On 4 July of that year, the station moved to the new BBC Birmingham city centre offices in The Mailbox.[1] Its facilities include two broadcast studios, a talk studio, an operations and production area, and a studio shared with the BBC Asian Network.[citation needed]

On 23 November 1981, the station changed its name to BBC WM [3] and had a studio in the back of a shop in New Street. The shop sold trinkets branded with the Radio WM identity.

As a 1990s economy measure, the station took over BBC CWR (Coventry and Warwickshire radio). On 3 September 2005, CWR resumed the production of separate programming between 5.00 and 22.00 each weekday (6.00 – 18.00 at weekends).

In late 2011, the station began using the on air identity of BBC WM 95.6 as opposed to BBC WM as it had previously used. BBC WM 95.6 now broadcasts from 0500 to 0100 hours on Monday – Thursday, 0500 on Friday to 0100 on Sunday and from 0600 to 0100 hours on Sundays.

The Mailbox, home to BBC WM's studios in Birmingham
The Mailbox, home to BBC WM's studios in Birmingham


When launched, the station had a monopoly of local radio in the Birmingham area. The station's low audience since the advent of independent local radio has led to reports of threatened closure on various occasions. In the mid-1980s, a new manager, Tony Inchley, brought in extensive format changes with a view to stabilising the audience, although the station remained small in listenership numbers.

According to RAJAR, the station has a weekly audience of 225,000 listeners and a 4.2% share as of December 2018.[4]


The majority of BBC WM's programming is produced and broadcast from Birmingham, alongside regional programming for sister stations in the BBC Midlands and BBC East Midlands regions. It also simulcasts overnight programming from BBC Radio 5 Live.

The station also broadcasts specialist music programming and shows serving the local Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities.

Notable presenters

Notable presenters include


  1. ^ a b c "BBC WM – 40th anniversary". BBC News Online. BBC Birmingham. 8 November 2010. In November 1981 Radio Birmingham changed its name to BBC Radio WM (the 'Radio' was later dropped) to give a better reflection of the area it covered.
  2. ^ "BBC WM – Familiar voices from 40 years of broadcasting". BBC News. 8 November 2010. Archived from the original on 11 November 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  3. ^ BBC WM: The first 40 years
  4. ^ "RAJAR". RAJAR. Retrieved 27 September 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 September 2020, at 18:13
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