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105.4 Real Radio
Real radio.jpg
Broadcast area North West England
Frequency 105.4 MHz /
DAB: 12C (MXR Digital North West)
First air date 8 September 1998 (As Century FM)
Format Hot AC
Audience share 4.9% (December 2009, [1])
Owner GMG Radio
Website realradionorthwest.co.uk

105.4 Real Radio is an independent local radio station controlled by GMG Radio. It is the flagship station of the Real Radio network and has a regional license to broadcast to North West England. The station was part of the Century Network for over ten years until it was rebranded in 2009.

Contents

Launch as Century 105.4

The station was born as Century Radio in 1998 as the second Century station in the UK, the first being Gateshead-based 100-102 Century Radio. Owned by Border Television, the station was set up by managing director John Myers, who had also established the north east station. Like the first station, Myers also presented the breakfast show under the pseudonym Morgan.

The station's launch was the subject of an episode of a BBC Two fly-on-the-wall documentary Trouble at the Top, mainly following Myers. The episode, entitled "Degsy Rides Again", showed Myers' attempts to train lunchtime phone-in host Derek Hatton, a controversial local ex-politician who had never before presented on radio. Myers was not confident enough in Hatton for him to appear on pre-launch publicity, although his show "The Degsy Debate" performed well at the first RAJAR. Also amongst its launch presenters was controversial shock jock Scottie McClue.[1]

The documentary also covered the station's acquisition of exclusive commentary rights for Manchester United F.C.'s games. They remained United's official radio partner for almost a decade until selling the rights to Xfm Manchester for the 2007–08 season.

Myers left the group to head GMG Radio, overseeing the launch of the similar Real Radio brand. Capital Radio bought the Century network, and was subsequently acquired by GCap Media. GMG Radio acquired the Century stations in October 2006, reuniting Myers and John Simons (programme director on the original Gateshead station) with the brand.[2]

Present

The station operates from studios in Laser House, an office-building in Salford Quays. Also housed in this building are Real Radio's sister stations 100.4 Smooth Radio and 106.1 Rock Radio.

The programming team is led by Programme Director Dave Shearer. Local programming includes the Real Breakfast show with Ditchy & Salty, Daytime with Darren Parks, Debbie Mac in the Afternoon and Home Time with Glen Hunt and Lorna Bancroft. 105.4 Real Radio also produces the networked programming for Real Radio, including shows such as 'The Evening Show', 'Through the Night', 'High School Days' and 'Real Club Classics' which is broadcast on Real Radio's sister stations in other areas.

The station's factual production team is headed by James Rea (as group Head Of News) and Christian Spooner (as local Head of News).

On 18 December 2008, it was announced that Century Radio will be re-branded as Real Radio in 2009.[3] The re-brand took place on 30 March 2009.[4]

The station is also simulcast on Channel M each weekday between 6am and 8am whilst Channel M broadcasts its traffic cameras programme which provides live footage from Manchester's traffic cameras.

News and sport

Real Radio is the home of the biggest of three GMG radio news "hubs". The local head of news is Christian Spooner, leading a team of 12 journalists, and the group head of news based at Laser House is James Rea. Bulletins are broadcast on the hour between 6 am and 6 pm with headlines on the half-hour between 6 am & 10 am and 4 pm & 6 pm. The 1 pm and 5 pm are extended to five minutes and include local sport and networked entertainment bulletins. Sport is broadcast during these extended news bulletins and at 4.30 pm and 5.30 pm on weekdays.

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National Bulletins

In the evenings (8pm-2am), GMG's news team in Manchester provide opt-in bulletins for all Smooth & Real stations in England (Real Radio North East, Real Radio Yorkshire, Real Radio North West, Smooth Radio West Midlands, Smooth Radio East Midlands, Smooth Radio North West and Smooth Radio North East, Smooth Radio London).

A pre-recorded bespoke bulletin is also produced for Real Radio Wales between 8pm and 2am. Between 2am and 5am, all news bulletins on Real & Smooth stations are produced by Sky News Radio in London.

As Century, the station won three awards in the 2008 IRN Awards, including for Best Scoop, in which they managed to obtain an interview from a witness who saw the shooting of Liverpool schoolboy Rhys Jones.

References

  1. ^ "Degsy Rides Again", Trouble at the Top, BBC Two, March 1999
  2. ^ "Fellowship for John Simons". Radio Today. 2006-12-18. http://www.radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.1434.2. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  3. ^ http://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.4197
  4. ^ http://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.4563.2

External links



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