I’ve been listening to Radio Redditch recently after I discovered the station broadcasting on the same frequency as my TomTom MP3 in-car radio transmitter. See: Radio Redditch vs TomTom MP3 broadcast
I’ve since found that there are actually two stations bidding for a broadcast license for Redditch. I’ve been contacted by one of these and I’ve done a bit of research on the Internet to find some more about both stations.
The following is based on the information on the Internet including public forums. I have not been able to verify its accuracy.
Limited broadcasting RSLs
You cannot just go out and purchase a radio license to broadcast on FM radio. The frequencies are governed by Ofcom who have to be quite ruthless when handing out licenses due to the limited frequencies available. This means that the radio station has to put in a lot of work to convince Ofcom that they are filling in a need in the local area and that they are going to be able to get the listeners to justify their frequency allocation.
One of the means of doing this is having an RSL (Restricted Service Licence) issued which permits broadcasting for a short period of time (approx 1 month at a time). This is what Radio Redditch is running under at the moment. If these are successful then they will help build a case for a permanent license.
Kingfisher FM had an RSL in November of 2008, and currently Radio Redditch have one for November 2009. I believe that Radio Redditch are on their 4th RSL, but I don’t know about Kingfisher FM.
Kingfisher FM broadcasted on 87.7 whereas Radio Redditch is on 87.9. These frequencies are free for running separately, but it would not be possible for two radio stations in the same time to run on frequencies so close to each other.
I believe the expectation is that only one of the these stations will be issued a permanent license.
I’ve been listening to Radio Redditch for a couple of weeks now and it does come across very well. It’s not quite as good as some of the larger commercial stations broadcasting in other areas (which have a greater number of staff working), but it’s certainly entertaining and has a good range of music. I stumbled over the radio channel by accident, but I have seen some publicity recently in the local press and some of the radio stations publicity in the Kingfisher shopping centre.
Unfortunately I was not aware of Kingfisher FM when it was broadcasting so I’m not able to make a comparison based on the quality of the shows.
I’m not able to comment on whether I think one is better than the other. I believe there is a need for a local Redditch radio station and I hope that one of these is successful in both getting a permanent license and then in providing a popular radio station for those living in the Redditch area.
I wish them both good luck and look forward to having a permanent radio station in Redditch.
I will be keeping an eye open and ear listening for any news about both Kingfisher FM and Radio Redditch in future.
The Redditch radio stations
See the following websites for more information on Radio Redditch and Kingfisher FM.
As I have said this is based on very limited information available. So if you can provide further information (with evidence / citations) please let me know through the contact form and I will update this post accordingly.
Updated 24 November 2009
Note that this has been revised from the original post and I’ve removed some information that I was not able to verify through an official source or through multiple unofficial sources. I’ve also added a bit more information based on the local press and recent publicity that I’ve seen. Again please let me know if there are any incorrect information as I like to ensure that the information is as relevant as possible.