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Radio Wave 96.5

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Radio Wave
Radio Wave logo 2016.png
Broadcast areaThe Fylde
FrequencyFM: 96.5 MHz
SloganThe Greatest Hits for Lancashire
NetworkGreatest Hits Radio
Rock FM
Greatest Hits Radio
First air date
25 May 1992
Last air date
1 September 2020 (Merged With Greatest Hits Radio)
Technical information
Transmitter coordinates
53°48′57″N 3°03′18″W / 53.8159°N 3.0551°W / 53.8159; -3.0551
WebcastLive stream

Radio Wave 96.5 was a local radio station owned and operated by Bauer as part of the Greatest Hits Radio network. It broadcasts to Blackpool and Fylde coast areas of Lancashire.

It broadcasts from studios in the Layton area of Blackpool via a specially-constructed transmitter atop Blackpool Tower.

The station is due to be merged and rebranded as Greatest Hits Radio in September 2020.


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

In the late 1980s, local businessman John Barnett started lobbying the radio industry regulator for a distinct Independent Local Radio (ILR) licence for the Blackpool and Fylde area. The licence was awarded in 1992[1] and Radio Wave began broadcasting at 7 am on 25 May 1992 with an introduction from its founder. The first presenter on-air was Neil Sexton and the first record played was "The Best" by Tina Turner. The official launch took place on a specially erected stage in front of a live audience on the promenade by Blackpool Tower and featured Les Dawson and Derek Batey together with other local celebrities.

In its first year of broadcasting the station won a Sony Radio Academy Awards Gold Award and was commended in the Local Station of the Year category.[1]

In August 1996, Radio Wave was confirmed by RAJAR as the most listened-to radio station in the area, ahead of fourteen other stations which were available including BBC Radio 1, which had half the number of listeners locally.[2] In 2000, John Barnett received an MBE for services to radio broadcasting.[3] He is now the station's chairman.

Transmission area

Radio Wave broadcasts from studios based on Mowbray Drive in the Layton area of Blackpool, with the signal coming from the top of the Blackpool Tower. The station can be heard from Fleetwood in the Wyre district, in the northwest corner of the Fylde, Preston to the east and Southport, 14.8 miles (23.8 km) west-southwest of Preston. Radio Wave can also be received as far north as Shap Fell in Cumbria.

Station rebrand

On 8 February 2019, Radio Wave and the Wireless Group's local radio stations were sold to Bauer Radio. The sale was ratified in March 2020 following an inquiry by the Competition and Markets Authority.[4]

On 27 May 2020, it was announced that Radio Wave will join Bauer's Greatest Hits Radio network.[5]

On 13 July 2020, local programming outside weekday breakfast was replaced by networked output from the GHR network, with Radio Wave retaining its own branding.[6]

In September 2020, the station will rebrand as Greatest Hits Radio and merge with six stations in the North West of England. The station's local breakfast show will be replaced by a regional drivetime show. Localised news bulletins, traffic updates and advertising will be retained.[5] The station's Blackpool studios will close.


Local programming is produced and broadcast from studios in Blackpool from 6am–10am on weekdays.

Networked programming originates from the Greatest Hits Network's Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Glasgow studios and from Bauer's Golden Square headquarters in Soho.


Radio Wave broadcasts local news bulletins hourly from 6 am to 6 pm on weekdays and from 8 am to midday on weekends. Headlines are broadcast on the half-hour during weekday breakfast and drivetime shows.[7] The station also simulcasts hourly Sky News Radio bulletins at all other times.


  1. ^ a b "An application to Ofcom for the Independent Local Radio Licence covering Preston, Leyland and Chorley" (PDF). Section 105 (A). Ofcom. 7 September 2006. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 23 September 2008.
  2. ^ "On the crest of a wave!". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. 15 August 1996. Archived from the original on 25 September 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2008.
  3. ^ "The Queen's Birthday Honours – MBEs: A – K". BBC News. 16 June 2000. Retrieved 23 September 2008.
  4. ^ CMA today clears the acquisitions of Lincs FM, Celador Radio, UKRD and Wireless local stations, Bauer Media, 12 March 2020
  5. ^ a b Most of acquired Bauer stations to become Greatest Hits Radio Stuart Clarkson, Radio Today, 27 May 2020
  6. ^ Bauer starts to roll out Hits and Greatest Hits to new radio stations Stuart Clarkson, Radio Today, 9 July 2020
  7. ^ Radio Wave public file

External links

This page was last edited on 26 September 2020, at 11:46
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