Business News Media

Bauer buys more local stations to expand Greatest Hits Radio on FM

By | Published on Friday 18 June 2021

Bauer Media

Do you know what Greater Manchester needs? Yes, that’s right, more Greatest Hits Radio. That’s what. So praise the Lord, Bauer Media has just bought up yet more local radio stations – this time in the North West and East Midlands – to further expand the reach of its Greatest Hits Radio brand.

It’s the Imagine Radio network previously owned by Stockport-based Like Media that is now being swallowed up by Greatest Hits, meaning that the Bauer station will become available on FM in Stockport and North Cheshire, plus also into the Peak District and down to the Derbyshire Dales.

Local radio nerds might like to know that Imagine’s Stockport frequency was originally used by KFM before being bought by Stoke-On-Trent’s Signal Radio and then relaunched under its current brand in 2000. The station split off from then Signal owner UTV Radio in 2009. The Derbyshire frequencies were previously used by High Peak Radio and Ashbourne Radio before coming into common ownership with and then rebranding as Imagine Radio.

Once merged into Greatest Hits Radio, all those frequencies will air mainly networked shows, most of them pumped out nationally, although there are regional opt outs around lunchtime, meaning at 1pm in Stockport people will hear a regional show hosted by Debbie Mac, and in Derbyshire a programme fronted by Andy Goulding.

For those of you feeling down that more local radio stations have been swallowed up by a national network, you’re forgetting that the people of North Cheshire, the Peak District and the Derbyshire Dales will now be able to tune in to – and enjoy in glorious FM stereo – a drive time show hosted by a Member Of The Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire!

Says Bauer Radio Group Managing Director Dee Ford: “Greatest Hits Radio is home to much-loved presenters, including Simon Mayo, who has just been announced as being the recipient of an MBE for his services to radio broadcasting. Having expanded FM coverage of the station into London, we’re delighted to be able to bring even greater access to the station to listeners in the North West and East Midlands”.

“Creating further scale for advertisers, we’re also committed to ensuring listeners have access to local information and news for the long-term”, she went on, before adding: “We’d like to thank the passionate and dedicated team at Imagine Radio, and look forward to working closely with them over the next few weeks”.

Confirming the deal from his side, the MD of the Like Media Group, Ryan Davies, said: “It’s been great fun developing Imagine Radio over the last couple of years, and working with the fantastic team that we have and I know each of them will continue to thrive. The sale wasn’t an easy decision for us, however it allows the remaining Like Media Group team to fully focus on the other projects that we have underway. We would like thank Dee and the Bauer team and wish them all the very best with the Hits Radio Brand network”.