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Global hands back Xfm Scotland licence ahead of Radio X relaunch, as Eddy Temple-Morris departs

By | Published on Monday 7 September 2015


As Global Radio prepares to relaunch Xfm as Radio X on 21 Sep, on Friday the radio giant announced it was handing back the West Scotland licence that has been used for Xfm Scotland since April 2014.

Xfm has long had a regional outpost in Manchester that takes most of its programmes from London but with some locally made shows in primetime. A version of Xfm in South Wales was short-lived, while Xfm Scotland ran initially from 2006 to 2008, and again since last year, the latter using a frequency Global acquired when it bought the Guardian’s old radio business in 2012. The Welsh and Scottish versions of Xfm also both carried locally made programmes in amongst those networked from London.

But Radio X is set to broadcast the same shows nationally on digital, and it seems Global doesn’t want to have to go to the hassle of making local programmes for its FM channels. It’s thought the radio firm is currently trying to have obligations to carry local programmes removed from the FM licence it uses in the North West of England, but media regulator OfCom would not allow a Scottish FM station to air only shows from England, hence Global’s decision to abandon that licence.

A spokesman for Global told Radio Today on Friday: “Under current regulatory policy, we can’t further network our programmes in Scotland and so we’ve taken the difficult decision to hand the [current Xfm Scotland] licence back to the regulator, OfCom. We are making some changes to Xfm which affect a small but important number of presenters and staff. These sorts of decisions are always difficult and we’d like to thank them for their huge contribution to the station over the years and wish them well for the future”.

As previously reported, Radio X will launch with some high profile new recruits, headlined by Chris Moyles, who posted a YouTube video pre-empting his return to radio this weekend (soundtracked with music from ‘Dr Who’, so perhaps the BBC could get it blocked). Other daytime DJs confirmed for Radio X this morning include Vernon Kay, Dan O’Connell and Johnny Vaughan. Which means presenters on Xfm London will be affected by the revamp as well as their colleagues in Manchester and Glasgow.

Though quite a few are staying, some with new shows, while the night time specialist music slot – from which Xfm used to get a lot of its credibility as a champion of new music – is set to sound very familiar. That said, long-term Xfm DJ and occasional CMU columnist Eddy Temple-Morris has nevertheless decided to exit the station before the relaunch for “personal reasons that shall remain private”.

Posting on Facebook on Friday, ahead of the final edition of his show ‘The Remix’ to air on Xfm, he wrote: “For reasons that are personal, and shall remain private, I’ve made a very hard decision to resign from the radio station I love”.

He added: “I’ve spent half my working life at X with cherished moments, from watching Steph and Dave Soulwax do their first ever UK radio DJ mix before they became 2ManyDJs, through first playing Kasabian’s demo on radio after discovering it in the Xfm office bin, to convincing Xfm to let me produce a pilot for a hip hop and spoken word show presented by a white boy from Essex with a stammer. Scroobius Pip’s ‘Beatdown’ show won two Sony Awards. That was the proudest I’ve felt in all fifteen years”.

He went on: “I’m choosing to leave with nothing but love for the station, its stalwart and hugely supportive and passionate staff and my bosses, and friends, Chris Baughen and Mike Walsh, for whom I have enormous respect”.

‘The Remix’ will now be aired each week by online radio station Soho Radio, while Club Remix and the new club night version of the stage Temple-Morris hosted at this year’s Secret Garden Party will be launching soon at The Clapham Grand, so there is plenty more to come from The Remix post-Xfm, not to mention the DJ’s plethora of other projects, including his band Losers.

Meanwhile we await to hear what the revamped Xfm will sound like.