|Broadcast area||United Kingdom|
|Frequency||MW: 828 - 1584 kHz|
FM: 96.3 - 107.9 MHz
|Branding||The Greatest Hits Radio Network|
|Slogan||The Good Times Sound Like This|
The Greatest Hits For (TSA)
|Format||Classic hits and specialist music|
|Country Hits Radio|
Hits Radio Pride
First air date
|5 January 2015 as Bauer City 2|
7 January 2019 as Greatest Hits Radio
The stations forming the Greatest Hits Radio network are predominantly sister stations to the corresponding Hits Radio network stations. Many were originally set up as a 'Gold' counterpart (e.g. Radio City Gold in Liverpool) when stations were instructed by the Independent Broadcasting Authority to cease simulcasting their services on both FM and AM in the late 1980s. The main exception to this was FM station West Sound in Dumfries and Galloway.
In Scotland, local programming on AM stations was largely retained until networking outside of weekday breakfast and specialist shows was introduced in June 2009.
The Magic stations gradually began to form a network merging most of their schedule until, and by March 2013, only local content consisted of three regional breakfast shows on weekdays, serving the North West, the North East and Yorkshire.
In July 2013, the remaining Scottish local output was axed, leading to a fully networked schedule known as 'Greatest Hits Network.
In September 2014, Bauer Radio announced it would rebrand the Magic stations under localised identities, based on the main FM station names (e.g. Magic 1152 in Manchester becomes Key 2, based on Key 103). Magic's AM network closed with the London equivalent, Magic 105.4 FM, launched nationwide on DAB.
The relaunch took place on Monday 5 January 2015. Initially, the two networks serving Scotland (The Greatest Hits Network) and northern England (City 2 Network) were replaced by one carrying programming from both nations over all stations, with some peak time opt-outs. Further split programming for the two nations was reintroduced the following year.
In April 2018, Northsound 2 ceased analogue broadcasting on 1035 AM, becoming the first commercial radio station in Scotland - and the first local Bauer-owned station - to broadcast only on digital platforms (DAB and online).
On 7 January 2019, Greatest Hits Radio replaced the Bauer City 2 branding due to the success of Radio City 2 in Liverpool. Local station identities in Northern England took on Greatest Hits Radio branded names and Scottish stations retaining their local brands.
Greatest Hits Radio also became available on FM (having previously being only a Medium Wave/AM network) but only across the West Midlands and Greatest Hits Radio UK began broadcasting across most of the UK on DAB (Digital Radio) using various local multiplexes.
In May 2020, Bauer announced 48 local radio stations in England and South West Wales will rebrand and join the Greatest Hits Radio network, following the acquisition of licences from UKRD, Wireless Group, Lincs FM Group and Celador.
Most of the stations have been merged and carry networked output, alongside a regional Drivetime show on weekdays and localised news, travel and advertising.
On 13 July 2020, the former Wireless Group and Celador-owned stations joined the Greatest Hits Radio network. The nineteen stations carried local breakfast shows and voicetracked programming whilst retaining separate branding until the full relaunch on 1 September 2020.
On 15 October 2020 it was announced that the Suffolk station Ipswich 102, part-owned by Bauer through their purchase of Lincs FM Group, would take the GHR brand and network programming, including the East region drivetime show, from November, with the former Town 102 on DAB, which had carried GHR East since the September network relaunch, being replaced by Hits Radio.
Joining the Network in November 2020
Daytime programming for England originates from Bauer's Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester studios, plus their Golden Square headquarters in Soho. In Scotland, it originates from Bauer's Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow studios. In Wales, it originates from Bauer's Swansea studios.
Each local station has its own latest local news, weather and travel news updates.
Late-night and overnight programming airs across all Greatest Hits Radio stations in England, Scotland and Wales from the Birmingham or Manchester studios.
There are some opt-outs and variations:
Bauer's newsrooms across the UK air news bulletins hourly from 6am to 7pm on weekdays and from 7am to 1pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Headlines are broadcast on the half-hour during weekday breakfast and drivetime shows, alongside traffic bulletins.
At weekends, bespoke networked news bulletins air during the afternoon produced by the Bauer newsroom in Glasgow for Scotland and usually either Leeds or Manchester for England and Wales. At all other times, mainly evening and overnight, hourly national bulletins originate from Sky News Radio.