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Magic 105.4 FM
Magic FM.png
Broadcast area London
Frequency 105.4 MHz
Sky Digital: 0180
TalkTalk TV: 617
Virgin Media (ex NTL): 928
Freeview: 715
First air date July 9, 1990
Format Adult Contemporary
Audience share 5.5% (September 2009, [1])
Owner Bauer Radio

Magic 105.4 FM is an adult contemporary Independent Local Radio station based in London, purchased by media group Emap in mid-1998, who subsequently rebranded the then-titled Melody 105.4 FM. It is part of the Magic radio network, now owned by Bauer Radio. The station competes with BBC Radio 2 but has a rather different sound - its emphasis on "more music, less talk" is reflected in the lengthy music sweeps that comprise the majority of its schedule.

Magic continues to challenge its main rivals Heart 106.2 and Capital Radio for London's largest commercial market share; the station enjoys a 15% reach (over 1.5 million listeners). In the first RAJAR period of 2006 Magic beat both rivals to the number one position in London in terms of both Audience Reach and Audience Share, by quite a large margin.

As well as being carried on FM in London it is simulcast on several DAB mulitplexes, online, and on digital television - Sky, Freeview, TalkTalk TV, and Virgin Media.

Contents

History

In 1998, Melody FM was purchased by media group Emap from Hanson plc; the Magic brand replaced that of Melody's in December of that year.

On rebranding Melody FM, Emap introduced automation to the station for the first time - weekday afternoons were split with a 'non-stop music hour', first sponsored by the now defunct energy company Calortex, and later by the Emap-owned Red magazine. Magic was criticised for automating a further eleven hours of its daily output (7pm-6am) given the reach and size of the station.

In an attempt to cut costs, Magic began networking its mid-morning show, hosted by Richard Skinner, and automated overnight output with the eight other Magic Radio stations in the North of England in January 2002. Audience figures fell on all nine stations in the twelve months that followed, some arguing a lack of local content had driven listeners to tune away. Networking was ended in January 2003, although the eight 'northern' Magic stations continued to share a mid-morning show, hosted by Mark Thorburn, and have now been networked again, with the exception of local breakfast shows, following a repositioning of the northern Magic group in mid-2006.

The end of networking heralded a programming shift; Magic adopting its 'more music, less talk' ethos. Former Capital FM head and radio consultant Richard Park was brought in to increase the station's audience share. In September 2003, Magic saw its first major revamp: live programming replaced automated output in the evening, and Independent Radio News-employed staff manned the station's daytime news output, removing shared presenting/newsreading responsibilities, a legacy from Magic's predecessor, Melody FM.

Recent years have seen a reliance on weekend celebrity-hosted content and large cash prizes to entice listeners - the award of £110,600 to Nicola Diss, the winner of the popular Magic Mystery Voices contest on 12 January 2006 was the largest cash prize given away on UK radio since 1999, a sum surpassed just a few months later by the prize collected by listener Dawn Muggleton in the Smooth Secret Song competition on London rival 102.2 Smooth FM, scooping £118,454 on 19 April 2006. However, Magic regained the honour on 30 March 2007 with listener Maria Crosskey winning £168,600 in a six-month-long Mystery Voices contest, although she was later disqualified (see 'Mystery Voices' below).

Other

In 2008, Emap sold its radio stations, including Magic, to Bauer Media Group.

Magic 105.4, along with urban-music station Kiss 100, celebrity youth station Heat Radio and indie rock station Q broadcasts from Bauer Radio's headquarters in Winsley Street.

The eight other stations in the Magic Radio network spanning the North of England operate a music policy and presentation style considered more upbeat and personality-based than their London counterpart. There is also a complementary music television channel available on the Sky, and Virgin Media digital TV platforms in the UK.

Current presenters

  • Neil Fox Breakfast
  • Gary Vincent Mid-Mornings, Saturday Afternoons
  • Paul Phear Afternoons, Saturday Stressbusters
  • Angie Greaves Drivetime, Saturday Mid-Mornings, Love Letters
  • Danny Pietroni Weekday Mellow Magic, Sunday Stressbusters
  • Martin Collins Weekend Breakfast
  • Hannah Cox Weekend Mellow Magic
  • Kim Wilde Secret Songs
  • Ronan Keating Sunday Afternoons

Past presenters

  • Graham Dene Breakfast/Drivetime
  • Richard Skinner Mid-Mornings/Saturday Breakfast and Magic Countdown
  • Martin Buchanan Drivetime/Weekday Evenings
  • David Prever Drivetime
  • Ana Schofield Weekday Overnights
  • Nicky Horne Drivetime/Sunday Mid-Mornings
  • David Hiskett Weekday Evenings/Weekend Afternoons
  • Gary King Drivetime/Weekend Afternoons
  • Richard Porter Weekday/Weekend Overnights
  • Russell Pockett Weekend Breakfast
  • Mike Carson Weekend Breakfast
  • Tim Smith Weekend Evenings
  • Charles Nove Weekend Evenings
  • Simon Ross Saturday Night Magic
  • Mike Toolan Backtrack: Magic's Greatest Hits
  • Ben Shephard Saturday Night Magic
  • Eamonn Holmes Sunday Afternoons
  • Lorraine Kelly Tender Moments
  • Nicola Bonn Weekend Overnights
  • Steve Priestley Weekend Breakfast

Mystery Voices

Magic often run a Mystery Voices competition in which listeners are required to guess the names of three celebrities who speak in the competition. One says "Magic", the second "One o five" and the third "Point four". Every hour a listener guesses the names of the celebrities and for each failed attempt £100 is added to the prizefund. The competitions often run for several months with the winner eventually receiving a prize potentially worth upwards of £100,000.

  • In the first five-month competition which ended on 29 June 2006, the celebrities were Sara Dallin, Clive Anderson and Morten Harket, with the listener, Peter Loraine, winning £98,400.
  • Nicola Diss won £110,600 for identifying Kurt Russell, Gloria Estefan and Matthew Wright.
  • Barbara Way won £81,200 for naming Liza Tarbuck, Mariah Carey and John Travolta.
  • In a marathon six-month contest, Maria Crosskey won £168,600 for identifying Anjelica Huston, Rob Thomas and Sarah Lancashire at the end of March 2007, but was later disqualified for failing to 'comply with the rules of the competition' [1]. Emap decided to roll the prize fund over to the start of the next Mystery Voices contest, which began in August 2007.
  • A further MMV competition commenced in August 2007. Due to the problems with the previous contest, the bonus for the first voice was set at £50,000, for the second voice another £50,000 and the jackpot for the third voice started at £69,000. The bonuses went on the second and fourth days of the competition, Paul Young and Pam Ferris being identified. The jackpot of £88,600 on 5 September went to Gary Thompson who identified the third voice as that of Nigel Planer.
  • In the competition that began in September 2007, the first name, Paul Carrack, was given in mid-November and a second, Chesney Hawkes a month later. On Friday 1 February, a man identified simply as "Russell from Reading" correctly identified the third voice as Julie Delpy, winning £110,700.
  • A new Mystery Voices contest begins in October 2009.

References

  1. ^ Magic Mystery Voices Competition: 30 March 2007. Published by Emap on 24 May 2007. Accessed 25 May 2007.

External links

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