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|Broadcast area||Greater Manchester and East Cheshire.|
Broadcasts from MediaCityUK,
Salford Quays, England, UK
|Frequency||95.1 MHz, 104.6 MHz|
|First air date||10 September 1970|
|Format||Local news, talk and music|
|Owner||BBC Local Radio,|
BBC North West
|Website||BBC Radio Manchester|
BBC Radio Manchester is a BBC Local Radio station broadcasting to Greater Manchester and north east Cheshire in North West England from MediaCityUK in Salford Quays on FM via a transmitter at Holme Moss, with a small repeater at Saddleworth that covers Tameside and Saddleworth. It can be heard on DAB radio and via internet streaming.
BBC Radio Manchester launched at 6 am on 10 September 1970 as the first local radio station in the city of Manchester. Initially broadcasting from studios at Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre, the station's long-standing home was New Broadcasting House on Oxford Road. Radio Manchester originally broadcast only on 206 metres on the AM medium wave band. The first voice on air was Alan Sykes. Other presenters included Roy Cross, Sandra Chalmers, Mike Riddoch and Alex Greenhalgh. In the mid 1970s, Radio Manchester was notable for the "Midway through the Day" programme which introduced strip programming and ran from lunchtime until 7 pm. Presenters changed throughout the day and it was the precursor of the now common chat and music format. At the same time Radio Manchester began an evening programme from 10 pm to midnight which often repeated interviews from "Midway through the Day".
In 1983 and 1984 the radio station ran a series of experimental community stations, each of which used the 1296 kHz AM frequency in turn. The stations were BBC Radio Bury (late 1983/early 1984), BBC Radio Oldham, BBC Radio Rochdale (eight weeks from 14 May 1984), BBC Radio Trafford (which operated from a mobile studio in a school playground) and BBC Radio Wigan (summer 1984). The stations were part-time services which opted out from the main BBC Radio Manchester service. The experiments were never repeated.
From October 1988 until 3 April 2006, the station was named BBC GMR (Greater Manchester Radio) and, for a brief period in 1997, GMR Talk. Programmes included a phone-in with Allan Beswick (who remains at the station and has presented a variety of shows at differing times, currently presenting a late night talk show which is simulcast with BBC Radio Lancashire), late-night music and comedy show Michelle Mullane around Midnight and GMR Brass, a brass band music programme. GMR was part of the BBC Night Network.
In 1996, BBC GMR began broadcasting from a second transmitter from Saddleworth on 104.6 FM, (which had and continues to serve as a transmitter for Key 103 for over 20 years). This meant areas of the Upper Tame Valley including Saddleworth and Tameside, down to Hyde saw improved coverage, which was poor at times from Holme Moss especially indoors.
After 18 years the station reverted to its original name, Radio Manchester. The first voice on the relaunched station was that of Tony Wilson followed by long-time local personality and breakfast presenter Terry Christian, the first song was Manchester by the Beautiful South.
At 6 am on Saturday 8 October 2011, the station ended its transmissions from its Oxford Road studios and began broadcasting from MediaCityUK in Salford Quays. The final show from Oxford Road was presented by Darryl Morris and the first from the new studios by Andy Crane.
The majority of the station's programming is produced and broadcast from Salford Quays. During off-peak hours, BBC Radio Manchester also carries some shared programming with sister station BBC Radio Lancashire. As with most other BBC Local Radio stations, it also airs the networked weekday evening show, originating from BBC Radio Leeds and produced independently by Wire Free Productions. This arrangement is due to end during the summer of 2018, whereupon the station will resume its own programming.
During the station's downtime, BBC Radio Manchester simulcasts BBC Radio 5 Live programming (Monday from midnight to 5 am, Tuesday to Friday from 1 am to 5 am, Saturday from 1 am to 6 am and Sunday from midnight to 6 am).