Wish FM brand to disappear from airwaves as radio station changes its name

Radio station Wish FM, which covers Wigan and St Helens, is set to be rebranded as part of a shake-up of stations across the region.
Wish FM's base on Orrell Road. Pic: Google Street ViewWish FM's base on Orrell Road. Pic: Google Street View
Wish FM's base on Orrell Road. Pic: Google Street View

Bauer Media has announced that the Greater Manchester and Cheshire-based radio stations it bought last year - including Wish FM - will become part of the Hits Radio Brand Network, creating the UK’s largest commercial radio network.

The integration will mean that stations including Wish FM, Wire FM, Tower FM and Signal 2 will be renamed as Greatest Hits Radio, providing hits from the 1970s to 1990s alongside regional drive time and networked breakfast shows.

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Signal 1 will retain its local branding, while becoming part of the wider Hits Radio Network.

Where possible, stations previously only accessible via FM or AM radio will secure a multi-platform digital future, with access to DAB digital radio.

Dee Ford, group managing director radio for Bauer Radio, said: “Audiences love and trust radio. Expanding the Hits Radio Brand Network will ensure listeners to these acquired stations benefit from multi-platform digital distribution meaning they can continue to broadcast in an increasingly competitive, digital and voice-activated world. This ensures the provision of local news and information, traffic and travel as well as access for advertisers to highly valued audiences.”

The changes mean some roles will be put into consultation and freelance contracts reviewed. A period of consultation for employees potentially affected starts today.

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Graham Bryce, group managing director for Hits Radio Network Brand, said: “We are committed to ensuring the future of radio in local markets and serving the needs of our listeners and advertisers. However, our top priority right now will be to support those affected through this period."

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