Heart-broken – radio station’s Swindon studio to close

By Claire Dukes - 27 February 2019

BusinessArts and Culture

You can still "turn up the feel good" - just no longer live from Swindon - as Global axes the ‘Swindon’ from Heart Radio.

  • Ben & Mel - image via Heart Radio

    Ben & Mel - image via Heart Radio

Global Media have announced “significant changes” in their operation to launch, what founders hope will be, three of the largest commercial radio breakfast shows in the UK.

Hundreds of jobs, across the country, could be lost, including those at the Swindon studio which will close.

The media conglomerate is merging their 22 local radio breakfast programmes, like Wiltshire’s Ben & Mel, into three UK-wide commercial breakfast shows. Ben Atkinson and Mel Everett will now have to fight for their slot against other breakfast presenters across the country.

The cull will mean there will only be three breakfast shows – one for Capital, one for Heart and one for Smooth Radio - meaning localised programmes across the UK cancelled.

Drivetime shows will also be cut from 23 to 10.

Global believe this new structure will “lead the way” to future success for Capital, Heart and Smooth Radio. Speaking to RadioToday Ashley Tabor, founder and president of Global, the Media & Entertainment Group, said: “Whilst the new deregulation will mean some significant changes at an operational level, these bold steps enable Global to lead the way in launching the UK’s three largest national commercial radio breakfast shows.

“We’re really excited to combine the best national talent with our unique ability to include great local content in network shows on Heart, Capital and Smooth.”

In 2014 Global came under the corporate umbrella of Communicorp Group Ltd – owning the brands for Capital, Heart and Smooth radio. Mark Lee, Chief Executive Officer, also spoke to RadioToday. He told the station: “Since we launched Communicorp UK in 2014 we have operated our Heart, Capital and Smooth stations through a brand licence from Global radio. This has worked extremely well for us, delivering strong growth in audience and revenue. 

“Competition from the BBC and digital services will intensify over the coming years and the new national breakfast shows will ensure we continue to be successful. Whilst I am always concerned about changes which impact on our team, it is important that we continue to evolve and grow.” 

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