Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Heart (radio network)

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Broadcast area
United Kingdom

Turn up the Feel Good!


This is Heart

Rhythmic AC & Hot AC

Turn up the Feel Good!

Heart (radio network) jackbrombycomwpcontentuploads201506Heart3

88MHz–108MHz RDS: Heart___ (Varies)

First air date
1994 (Heart West Midlands)

Sister stations
Radio X, Classic FM, Capital XTRA, Gold


Heart is a radio network of 21 adult contemporary local radio stations operated by Global Radio in the United Kingdom, broadcasting a mix of local and networked programming. Eighteen of the Heart stations are owned by Global, while the other three are operated under franchise agreements.



Heart began broadcasting on 6 September 1994, as 100.7 Heart FM being the UK's third Independent Regional Radio station, five days after Century Radio and Jazz FM North West. The first song to be played on 100.7 Heart FM was "Something Got Me Started", by Simply Red. Its original format of "soft adult contemporary" music included artists such as Lionel Richie, Simply Red and Tina Turner. Reflecting this, its early slogan was 100.7 degrees cooler!.

Heart 106.2 began test transmissions in London in August 1995, prior to the station launch on 5 September. The test transmissions included live broadcasts of WPLJ from New York City.

The Heart programming format was modified in 1996. The new format saw the "soft" AC music replaced with a generally more neutral Hot AC music playlist. Century 106 in the East Midlands became the third station of the Heart network in 2005 after GCap Media sold Century. Chrysalis' radio holdings were sold to Global Radio in 2007.

When GCap Media was taken over by Global Radio in 2008, it announced plans to dissolve the 41 station One Network, with one station (Power FM) becoming part of the Galaxy Network, four stations (BRMB, Beacon Radio, Mercia FM and Wyvern FM) forming a West Midlands regional network (which was latterly sold to Orion Media along with Heart 106), seven stations joining Capital FM to form The Hit Music Network and the remaining 29 stations forming the Heart Network. Heart East Midlands was sold to Orion Media due to the same competition concerns that had forced its earlier sale to Chrysalis.

Network restructuring

Between June and September 2010, Global Radio merged the majority of the 33 Heart stations to create a smaller network of 18 local and regional stations, in line with new OFCOM guidelines on local output requirements. Two Hit Music Network stations were also closed and merged with Heart stations.

Stations in Gloucestershire, Kent, London, the West Midlands, the East Midlands and Wiltshire were unaffected by the changes. Heart Cymru, serving Gwynedd and Anglesey, moved its studios from Bangor to Wrexham but retained its extended local output of 10 hours on weekdays and 8 hours on Saturdays and Sundays. Heart North West and Wales retained an opt-out on 96.3FM (the North Wales Coast) for Welsh language programming.

On 1 January 2011, Orion Media, the owners of Heart East Midlands (one of the original three Heart stations) renamed and relaunched the station as 'Gem 106', ending a franchise agreement with Global Radio formed when Global purchased GCap - the agreement allowed Orion to use the Heart identity and carry networked programming from London. The move saw Heart's networked programming replaced by local output from Nottingham.

Network expansion

On 19 March 2012, Global Radio announced it had brought the Cornwall ILR station Atlantic FM from joint owners Tindle Radio and Camel Media. Atlantic FM became part of the Heart Network and merged with Heart Devon on Monday 7 May 2012 to form Heart South West, which is based in Exeter.

On 6 February 2014, Global Radio announced it would be rebranding all Real Radio stations as Heart and would be selling Real Radio Yorkshire and the Northern licence for Real Radio Wales to Communicorp. The Communicorp-owned stations use Heart's network programming and branding under a franchise agreement with Global.

Global Radio extended the Heart network to the Real Radio network of regional stations from Tuesday 6 May 2014. The two stations based in Wrexham - Heart North West and Wales and Heart Cymru - became part of the Capital FM Network on the same date.

List of stations

As of 6 May 2014, the Heart network comprises 21 stations:

Programming and presenters

The majority of programming is broadcast live from Heart's network studios in Leicester Square, London, however some weekend output is voice-tracked.

Local programming is produced and broadcast live from the originating Heart station's studios and is broadcast from 6-10am and 4-7pm on weekdays, 1-5pm on Saturdays and 12pm-4pm on Sundays. However, some news content is produced from neighbouring stations. For example, news bulletins for the network's West Country, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire stations are all produced from Bristol.


All 21 Heart stations broadcast local news bulletins each day - updates air hourly from 6am to 7pm on weekdays and from 6am to 12pm at weekends.

In accordance with OFCOM speech requirements, stations in the North East and North West of England, South and West Yorkshire, Central and Southern Scotland, North and Mid Wales, South and Mid Wales and Cornwall also produce two extended ten-minute news programmes on weekdays featuring sports, showbiz and weather, Heart Morning News from 6am to 6.10am and Heart Nightly News from 6.45pm to 6.55pm.

On all Heart stations, short national news updates from Global's London headquarters air every hour at all other times, except during The Vodafone Big Top 40.

Network presentation

As of 2014, the network uses jingles and themes produced by ReelWorld Europe, based in Salford.

Previously, Heart used a jingle package, composed by the Seattle-based music production company IQ Beats, which also supplied packages for Global's Capital FM network, LBC and continues to produce imaging for Gold.


In August 2010, listeners in Bedfordshire and Crawley, West Sussex complained about the merger of Heart stations and called for a boycott of the station.

There have been numerous criticisms made by listeners of the repetitive nature of Heart radio stations playlist in various outlets. A public complaint to the regulator OFCOM in 2012 that the "More Music Variety" slogan was materially misleading was not pursued as Ofcom deemed that it did not warrant further investigation. Ofcom stated that "We did not consider listeners were materially misled by this slogan."

Hall of Fame

At the end of 2012, the station polled their listeners, and compiled a list of the top 500 songs of all time.

  1. Adele - "Make You Feel My Love"
  2. Take That - "Never Forget"
  3. Michael Bublé - "Home"
  4. George Michael - "Careless Whisper"
  5. Maroon 5 - "Moves Like Jagger"
  6. Robbie Williams - "Angels"
  7. Adele - "Rolling in the Deep"
  8. Whitney Houston - "I Have Nothing"
  9. Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes - "(I've Had) The Time of My Life"
  10. Take That - "Greatest Day"


Heart (radio network) Wikipedia

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