Business News Legal Media

Star Radio and Nation Broadcasting oppose Bauer’s latest expansion of Greatest Hits Radio

By | Published on Tuesday 9 May 2023

Greatest Hits Radio

The latest plans by Bauer Media to expand its Greatest Hits Radio service on FM have been formally opposed by two rival radio companies.

Bauer has been busy for some time now switching FM frequencies it controls over to GHR, replacing either local radio brands it used to operate or other national brands it broadcast on FM in some regions.

The most recent plan is to put GHR onto FM frequencies currently used by its Kiss station in Cambridge, Peterborough and Suffolk. That change, however, needs approval from media regulator OfCom, because doing so constitutes a change of the format described in the licences for those specific FM outlets.

With OfCom not really interfering much at all in what services radio companies want to offer on their FM frequencies these days, the regulator has already said that its preliminary opinion is that Bauer should be allowed to go ahead with the switchover. However, there was nevertheless a consultation on the format change request.

And, according to Radio Today, both Star Radio and Nation Broadcasting – which have services operating in Cambridge and Suffolk respectively – have submitted documents to OfCom opposing Bauer’s proposals.

Star Radio argues that Bauer has failed to demonstrate that there is demand or support for GHR replacing Kiss in those areas, adding that doing so will reduce choice for local listeners, given the GHR service is closer to those already provided by rival stations in the region.

Nation – which, until July last year, had a partnership with Bauer that involved pumping out GHR on the Suffolk frequency it controls – says that the proposal to switch Kiss to GHR is one of the most radical format changes ever proposed, and is clearly driven by Bauer’s national strategy rather than the needs of radio listeners in Cambridge, Peterborough or Suffolk.

We await to see how OfCom responds.