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Various Bauer stations in Scotland to rebrand as Greatest Hits Radio

By | Published on Friday 13 January 2023

Greatest Hits Radio

Bauer Radio will rebrand a bunch of its Scottish stations as Greatest Hits Radio in April, meaning that the Clyde 2, Forth 2, MFR 2, Northsound 2, Tay 2 and West Sound brands will all disappear – although there’ll still be Clyde 1, Forth 1 etc.

The rebranding stations are all basically part of the Greatest Hits Radio network already, so music policy wise nothing will change.

They also already air programmes from the UK-wide GHR network for chunks of the day, with specific Scottish programmes during daytime. The number of shows unique for the Scottish audience may decrease with this change – it’s not yet clear – although the Scotland specific breakfast show currently shared by those six stations will definitely remain.

Says Bauer Scotland’s Content Director Victoria Easton-Riley: “Entertaining hundreds of thousands of listeners a week, these stations are much-loved for their playlist of classic hits and entertaining content, so rebranding as Greatest Hits Radio just makes total sense. Strengthened under one name, we’re so excited by the scope of opportunity ahead including national marketing campaigns and more”.

Meanwhile, Group Programme Director for the Hits Radio Brand Network, Gary Stein, adds: “Greatest Hits Radio has been such a great success story to date, and we know this will continue into Scotland as these stations rebrand in April, giving audiences, artists and advertisers much better clarity”.

Perhaps suggesting that the rejig in Scotland will likely result in fewer specific shows for Scottish listeners, it’s also been revealed that the number of local shows on the Welsh version of Greatest Hits Radio will be significantly cut in April.

Currently Greatest Hits Radio South Wales has its own local shows at breakfast, mid-morning, early afternoon and late night. However, according to Radio Today, only the late night show – a Welsh language programme – will remain.

The aforementioned Stein told Radio Today: “We always review each of our stations on a case-by-case basis. Since its rebrand, Greatest Hits Radio South Wales has retained some separate weekday content from our network. Sadly this is no longer viable moving forwards, [but] we remain focused on providing listeners with a range of voices from across the UK, alongside its regular Welsh language programme which we remain committed to”.

Bauer has been prolific in expanding its Greatest Hits Radio brand in recent years, of course, replacing lots of local radio brands that it owned and acquired with additional outposts of that network.

The media firm – like all the big commercial radio companies – has also been slowly cutting the amount of local programming it airs, lobbying UK media regulator OfCom to reduce the obligations for such programming in the radio licences it issues.

That’s usually based on the argument that, with radio now competing with lots of online operators, delivering local programming beyond news and travel isn’t commercially viable.

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