103 different Keys broadcasting in Manchester?

There’s changes afoot for radio station names in areas where Bauer Media currently operates.  Here in Liverpool, what was operating on AM, a relay of the Bauer oldies brand ‘Magic’, is to be renamed Radio City 2.  That’s because our FM station, aimed at 26 to 44 year olds, is called Radio City.

So. Radio City 2 will also keep reminding listeners that it’s playing the greatest hits for Liverpool. It will be aimed at the 45 to 64 year old age group (I’d guess the over 65s are catered for by BBC Radio Merseyside), and won’t initially be radically different to what it is now.

This change away from ‘Magic’ is happening throughout all the ‘local’ areas where Bauer broadcasts the same ‘Magic’ output on AM.  It’ll still be the same single output, but just playing ‘local’ named jingles instead of, well, saying ‘Magic’.

This already happens across the main FM networks for the majority of the output, and they do it quite well from central studios in Manchester, by using pre-recorded starts of sentences saying the local station’s name, to which they then add the rest of the sentence which gets broadcast via every station, so the re-branding of Magic should be dead easy to implement.

Over in, say, Newcastle, where the main FM radio station is Metro Radio, the ‘Magic’ station will be renamed Metro Radio 2.  As you can guess, it will keep reminding listeners that it’s ‘playing the greatest hits for … Newcastle’.

And so on.

As well as the rebranding of ‘Magic’ to the same name as the local FM station but with a ‘2’ after it, each area will also get a DAB only station with the number ‘3‘ after it, aimed at 15 to 25 year olds.

With me so far?

The number 3 stations will in truth just be locally biased jingles re-branding the already existing national service ‘The Hits’ single output. The Hits will stay ‘The Hits’ nationally, but will be using the ‘3’ names locally, adding that it’s playing today’s new music.  (Let’s hope it does actually start to play ‘new’ music. It would be nice for a commercial radio station to finally do such a thing.)

Anyway. Still following me?

Ok, let me explain it a bit better: In Manchester, where Bauer’s local FM station is called ‘Key 103’, there won’t be a Key 1, but there will be a Key 2 and a Key 3. There won’t be a Key 4, 5, etc, all the way through to Key 102. Then there will be a Key 103.

Make sense now?