Heart (radio network)

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Heart
The Heart Network logo.svg
City of licenseLondon
Broadcast areaLondon, West Midlands, East Anglia, South East England, West of England, Devon, Cornwall, North Wales, Cheshire, Wirral Peninsula
BrandingThis is Heart
SloganMore Music Variety
Frequency96MHz–107MHz
RDS: HEART_xx or HEART___
First air date1994 (Heart West Midlands)
FormatAdult Contemporary (AC)
Language(s)English
Audience share5.1% (June 2013, RAJAR)
OwnerGlobal Radio
Sister stationsThe Arrow, Capital, Capital Xtra, Chill, Classic FM, Gold, Jazz FM, LBC, Real Radio, Real Radio XS, Smooth Radio, XFM
WebsiteHeart
 
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Heart
The Heart Network logo.svg
City of licenseLondon
Broadcast areaLondon, West Midlands, East Anglia, South East England, West of England, Devon, Cornwall, North Wales, Cheshire, Wirral Peninsula
BrandingThis is Heart
SloganMore Music Variety
Frequency96MHz–107MHz
RDS: HEART_xx or HEART___
First air date1994 (Heart West Midlands)
FormatAdult Contemporary (AC)
Language(s)English
Audience share5.1% (June 2013, RAJAR)
OwnerGlobal Radio
Sister stationsThe Arrow, Capital, Capital Xtra, Chill, Classic FM, Gold, Jazz FM, LBC, Real Radio, Real Radio XS, Smooth Radio, XFM
WebsiteHeart

Heart is a network of 17 adult contemporary local radio stations in central and southern England and north Wales. Each station broadcasts localised breakfast/drivetime on weekdays and afternoons on weekends (with additional local output on stations in North Wales and Cornwall). Networked programming is simulcasted at all other times. Sixteen of the Heart stations are owned and operated by Global Radio with one station, Heart Hertfordshire, owned independently as a franchise.

History[edit]

Heart began broadcasting on the 6 September 1994, as 100.7 Heart FM being the UK's third Independent Regional Radio station, five days after Century Radio and Jazz FM North West. The first song to be played on 100.7 Heart fm was "Something Got Me Started", by Simply Red. Its original format of "soft adult contemporary" music included artists such as Lionel Richie, Simply Red and Tina Turner. Reflecting this, its early slogan described the station as being 100.7 degrees cooler.

Its programming format was modified in 1996, a year after Chrysalis launched Heart 106.2 in London. The new format saw the "soft" AC music replaced with a generally more neutral Hot AC music playlist. Century 106 in the East Midlands became the third station of the Heart network in 2005 after GCap Media sold Century. Chrysalis' radio holdings were sold to Global Radio in 2007.

There are two theories of how the original Heart station was given its name. One is that it got its name from being based in the heart of Birmingham. The more commonly held theory is that it is taken from the phrase Heart of England which Birmingham and often the wider West Midlands region is often referred to as.[citation needed]

When GCap Media was taken over by Global Radio in 2008, it announced plans to dissolve the 41 station One Network, with one station (Power FM) becoming part of the Galaxy Network, four stations (BRMB, Beacon Radio, Mercia FM and Wyvern FM) forming a West Midlands regional network (which was latterly sold to Orion Media along with Heart 106), seven stations joining Capital FM to form The Hit Music Network and the remaining 29 stations forming the Heart Network. Heart East Midlands was sold to Orion Media due to the same competition concerns that had forced its earlier sale to Chrysalis, and as a result this was operated by Orion Media using the Heart name and content under licence, until 1 January 2011 when it split from the Heart network, becoming Gem 106. (As a result of this and other changes, including the creation of Capital East Midlands, Global Radio placed a relay of Heart 106.2 in place of Galaxy Digital on DAB in Leicester and Nottingham, such that listeners could continue to receive Heart network content in these areas.)

Between June and September 2010, Global Radio merged the majority of the Heart stations to create a smaller network of local and regional stations, in line with new OFCOM guidelines on local output requirements.[1]

List of Heart stations[edit]

As of May 2012, the Heart network comprises 17 stations:[2]

Programming/presenters[edit]

The majority of programming is broadcast live from Heart's network studios in Leicester Square, London, however some output is automated (Heart Cymru's More Music Lunch on weekday afternoons) and voice-tracked (Emma Bunton & Mark Wright).

Local programming is produced and broadcast live from the originating Heart station's studios - although the two stations based in North Wales (Cymru & Heart North West and Wales) are co-located from studios in Wrexham. Likewise, news bulletins for the network's West Country, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire stations are produced from Bristol.

Networked presenters[edit]

  • Toby Anstis (Monday – Saturday mornings)
  • Nick Snaith (Monday - Friday afternoons)
  • Neil 'Roberto' Williams (Sunday - Thursday evenings, and Club Classics on Friday night)
  • Jenny Francis (The Late Show Sunday - Thursday nights)
  • Simon Beale (All 80s All Night weekday overnights)
  • Matt Wilkinson (Monday - Friday early mornings)
  • Mark Wright (Club Classics on Friday & Saturday evenings)
  • Lucy Horobin (Saturday breakfast)

Syndicated presenters[edit]

Opt-out services[edit]

Playlist[edit]

The network runs a separate playlist on the stations in London and West Midlands during their local hours, in keeping with their softer Hot AC formats compared to the others which are more CHR orientated.

Network presentation[edit]

The Heart Network uses a jingle package, composed by the Seattle-based music production company IQ Beats, who also supply packages for Global Radio's Capital network, LBC and Gold network. The network's imaging voiceovers are Alex Hall and Dave Wartnaby while the sponsorship and promotion voiceovers are Martin Bruce and Anna Butterfield.

Network restructuring[edit]

On 21 June 2010, Global Radio announced plans to restructure the Heart Network. By the end of the restructuring process, the number of stations had been reduced from 33 to 18.[3] Two Hit Music Network stations were also closed and merged with Heart stations.

Stations in Gloucestershire, Kent, London, the West Midlands, the East Midlands and Wiltshire were unaffected by the changes. Heart Cymru, serving Gwynedd and Anglesey, moved its studios from Bangor to Wrexham but retained its extended local output of 10 hours on weekdays and 8 hours on Saturdays and Sundays. Heart North West and Wales retained an opt-out on 96.3FM (the North Wales Coast) for Welsh language programming.

On 1 January 2011, Orion Media, the owners of Heart East Midlands (one of the original three Heart stations) renamed and relaunched the station as 'Gem 106', ending a franchise agreement with Global Radio formed when Global purchased GCap - the agreement allowed Orion to use the Heart identity and carry networked programming from London.[4] The move saw networked programming largely replaced by local shows.

On 19 March 2012, Global Radio announced it had bought the Cornwall ILR station Atlantic FM from joint owners Tindle Radio and Camel Media.[5] Atlantic FM became part of the Heart Network and merged with Heart Devon on Monday 7 May 2012 to form Heart South West, which is based in Exeter.[6]

Criticisms[edit]

In August 2010, listeners in Bedfordshire and Crawley, West Sussex complained about the merger of Heart stations and called for a boycott of the station. [7]

There have been numerous criticisms made by listeners of the repetitive nature of Heart radio stations playlist in various outlets. A public complaint to the regulator OFCOM in 2012 that the "More Music Variety" slogan was materially misleading was not pursued as Ofcom deemed that it did not warrant further investigation.[8] Ofcom stated that "We did not consider listeners were materially misled by this slogan.” [9]

Hall of Fame[edit]

At the end of 2012, the station polled their listeners, and compiled a list of the top 500 songs of all time.[10]

  1. Adele - Make You Feel My Love
  2. Take That - Never Forget
  3. Michael Buble - Home
  4. George Michael - Careless Whisper
  5. Maroon 5 - Moves Like Jagger
  6. Robbie Williams - Angels
  7. Adele - Rolling in the Deep
  8. Whitney Houston - I Have Nothing
  9. Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes - (I've Had) The Time of My Life
  10. Take That - Greatest Day

Heart TV[edit]

Heart TV
Heart TV logo.png
Launched11 October 2012
Owned byGlobal Television
(Global Group)
Picture format16:9 576i (SDTV)
Audience share~0.0% (August 2013, BARB)
SloganMore Music Variety
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom
Ireland
Sister channel(s)Capital TV
Websiteheart.co.uk/tv
Availability
Terrestrial
Freeview
(Manchester)
Channel 62
Satellite
FreesatChannel 516
SkyChannel 387
Astra 2F12522 V 22000 5/6
Streaming media
HeartWatch live

On 3 July 2012, Global Radio announced it would launch a TV channel of the same name, Heart.[11] The station launched on Sky and Freesat platforms on 11 October 2012 at 11:00 p.m., along with a TV channel of the same name for sister radio station Capital.[12] The channels can also be watched via dedicated iOS apps, as well as online. Both channels play non-stop music videos 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will also feature some exclusive content.[13] On 24 July 2012 it was confirmed BSkyB would be responsible for ad sales on both channels, likewise with the radio station, Heart TV is aimed at a target audience of housewives with children.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Heart slims but strengthens". Radio Today. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Official website featuring map showing Heart stations
  3. ^ "Global Radio to halve number of local Heart stations". mediaguardian.co.uk. 21 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "Gem to replace Heart East Mids". Radio Today. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Altantic FM sold to Global to become Heart, RadioToday, 19 March 2012
  6. ^ UKRD responds to Atlantic's Heart switch, RadioToday, 19 March 2012
  7. ^ Plunkett, John. "Global Radio faces Heart cuts protest". Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Complaints Assessed, not Investigated". Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin 205. Ofcom. 8 May 2012. p. 32. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  9. ^ being misleading OFCOM says Heart slogan isn't misleading, Radio Today, 8 May 2012
  10. ^ http://www.heart.co.uk/on-air/hearts-hall-fame-results/
  11. ^ Laughlin, Andrew (14 July 2012). "Global to launch Heart TV". Digital Spy. 
  12. ^ "Heart and Capital TV have launched". a516digital. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  13. ^ Laughlin, Andrew (12 October 2012). "Capital TV, Heart TV launch on Sky and Freesat". Digital Spy. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  14. ^ McCabe, Masie (24 July 2012). "Global appoints Sky Media for Heart and Capital TV ad sales". Media Week. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 

External links[edit]