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The Future of Yorkshire Coast Radio, Minster FM and Stray FM

The Future of Yorkshire Coast Radio, Minster FM and Stray FM

Published by the Yorkshire Coast Radio News Team at 4:28pm 29th May 2020.

Changes will be coming to the airwaves of North Yorkshire in the autumn with the announcement this week that the counties three commercial radio stations are to become part of the UK’s largest commercial radio network.

Yorkshire Coast Radio, Minster FM and Stray FM will be rebranded as “Greatest Hits Radio”, offering classic hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.

The three stations were bought last year by Bauer Media, Europe’s leading digital commercial broadcaster whose existing stations include the national stations Absolute Radio, Kiss and Scala.

Bauer say that the changes will..

“secure the multi-platform digital future of these stations in a radio market which is seeing a significant shift towards consumption on digital platforms.

It enables the creation of a national network which delivers the optimum mix of local content that listeners highly value alongside content from nationally known presenters, whilst also providing significant scale for advertisers.”

The stations are expected to be rebranded in September. The proposals will see the retention of local news, traffic and travel and other local information alongside national names presenting programmes across the network, there will be a regional Drivetime programme for Yorkshire.

Group Managing Director of Hits Radio Brand Networks, Graham Bryce, says:

“We recognise the depth of local support for these stations among loyal audiences who care about the presenters and staff, as well as the content that they produce. I want to personally assure those listeners that these stations are not closing. They will retain local news content, which we know is highly valued by listeners, as well as local information, traffic and travel. They will also remain engaged in local charitable activity, retain their presence in the community and reflect the major events and stories that we agree are important to listeners. 

This change is designed to ensure that the future success of these stations matches their rich heritage. Across the country, the local radio industry is adapting to significant shifts in listener behaviour towards consumption on digital platforms. We must stay ahead of these changes to ensure that our cherished local institutions can thrive into the future.”

All three stations currently broadcast on FM and DAB as well as online and on smart speakers. Greatest Hits Radio will be available to listeners on all these platforms with no need to retune.

The changes are part of one of the biggest shake-ups to UK radio in recent years. Bauer bought four other UK Radio companies last year, UKRD (previous owners of Yorkshire Coast Radio, Minster FM and Stray FM) along with Lincs FM, Celador Radio, and parts of Wireless. The acquisitions added 40 radio stations to the Bauer portfolio. Most of those stations will rebrand as Greatest Hits Radio in September.

In a statement released this week Bauer explained.

“These changes do unfortunately mean that some roles will be put into consultation and freelance contracts reviewed. Bauer Media is fully committed to supporting all affected employees throughout this period and will be working closely with them over the months ahead. A period of consultation with employees potentially affected will commence today.”



There are 23 comments on this page.

zara, on 29th May 2020 5:32pm
thats okay, will not be listening then if not local people presenting the shows. That is the whole reason i listen to it instead of the national ones.
zara, on 29th May 2020 5:49pm
have signed the petition although i am sure it will do no good but you have to try.
Scottie, on 29th May 2020 7:02pm
This sounds disappointing. I really like local presenters and their local knowledge and they know us. There seems little point in listening if we only have local news and weather. I don't want to listen to a generic station I want a local knowledgeable station. Won't listen if you get rid of the current Yorkshire coast radio staff.
SteveS, on 29th May 2020 7:32pm
Yorkshire Coast Radio is for Yorkshire Coast people (Im sure the people of Hull or Harrogate feel the same way) The new owners may have paid good money but this is ‘our’ radio station. They need to get their heads out of a spreadsheet and take notice of the listeners. Local business use the station for their own advertising to sell their wares to local people and inevitably bring revenue to the local radio station. When all the listeners have gone because its not local anymore, the revenue stops coming in. ‘Our’ station was set up on this basis and has been highly successful on it. The options for the owners is plain !! Listen to the local people or spend more time wondering why the numbers don't add up anymore. Its called Yorkshire Coast Radio for a very good reason !!
Brenda Simpson, on 29th May 2020 7:36pm
If national names are presenting programmes, I might as well listen to Radio 2. I listen to YCR because of the local presenters who have a raport with local people. But I expect the decision has already been made
Brenda Dickinson, on 29th May 2020 8:21pm
Angela Welch, on 29th May 2020 8:38pm
No No No !!!. I love listening to Yorkshire coast radio, Paddy in the morning
It's a great radio show . Our local radio station. Very informative, great
& Competitions Local businesses promotions. News updates.You feel part of the show ,you can txt/ ring/ message
With comments ,wish friends and family happy birthday/ anniversary
Whhoo! It wont be the same . Save YORKSHIRE COAST RADIO.
Jonnyb, on 30th May 2020 7:57am
End of local radio
Just the way the UK works. Compare it with Scarborough council
controlling the affairs of Filey a complete joke.
The station has no point now.
Patricia Allenby, on 30th May 2020 8:31am
Oh no! this is dreadful, why change a good thing? We listen cos we like the presenters, the station AS IT IS!! I won't be listening if you get rid of the presenters, I agree with others, we don't want a generic station, we want the regional stations. I listen cos I like Mike Nicholsons shows in particular, he's a great DJ with great rapport with us listeners and provides an entertaining, enjoyable show. We don't want to lose these shows!
Margaret Jephcott, on 30th May 2020 8:51am
Let's keep local radio stations LOCAL! Moving from Harrogate to Whitby a few years ago was a great fresh start. Yorkshire Coast Radio covers everything that locals need in a radio station and more. It's like being a family ! No way do I see incorporating other radio stations a positive. Sad day if this goes ahead. Quite a few people will not be tuning in.
Rooster72, on 30th May 2020 9:22am
To be able to escape Ed Sheeran would be great but lose the local angle and brilliant local presenters? No thanks.
JGPCCE, on 30th May 2020 10:04am
This isn’t welcome news at all. YCR has a strong fan base along the Yorkshire Coast because of its localised approach and nature. As someone has already said, if we wanted to listen to national names we’d listen to R2 etc. I’m genuinely disappointed at this news. I suspect listener figures will go off a cliff edge once the take over / rebrand becomes more visible. Very sad news.
Wendy Watkins, on 30th May 2020 10:36am
I actually live in Cottingham but enjoy listening to Yorkshire Coast Radio on my drive to work in Driffield. I will also miss Paddy in the morning especially, he makes a change to the other bigger stations, so this is a real shame.
Smokieno1, on 30th May 2020 11:05am
What a sad day for local Scarborough radio. I live in Scotland but love to visit Scarborough as often as I can and always listen to YCR when I’m there. When at home I often listen via the mobile app. The same company took over all the local stations where I live now and a lot of the local presenters were replaced by so called well known presenters. You can’t even change stations to get away from them as they broadcast the same music over different stations at the same time, only the jingles and local news/ advertising is different. Sad times ☹️
hondacop, on 30th May 2020 11:32am
We listen when we’re in Scarborough and also at home in Manchester.
It lets us know what’s happening in Scarborough when we’re not there and also cheers us up and let’s us feel we’re on the coast with our friends when we’re not.
If it’s not Paddy and all the other great DJ’s with there banter then it’s not Yorkshire Coast and we won’t be “ON THE COAST “ so pointless listening
sleepybear, on 30th May 2020 2:31pm
Well Bauer you get off to a really good start !"Changes will be coming to the airwaves of North Yorkshire " excuse me this is Yorkshire COAST radio and also covers Bridlington and area which is in East Riding of Yorkshire not North Yorkshire . This is why have listened continuosly since YCR's inception LOCALNESS if you get rid of the loyal and well liked LOCAL presenters, to me your station ceases to have it's raison d'etre..., quite simply I, and I believe, the majority of your current listener base (i.e. your advertising income source) will just cease to listen to any National homogenised pap, the very reason we listen to this station is because we feel we know the presenters and they know us . I assume Bauer bought these stations not out of a community sense but to make a profit . As your profits are garnered from advertisers who use you to reach maximum number of listeners , i believe you're going to notice a sudden drop in previouis years income as your target audience disappears and along with it your advertisers. I don't suppose any of these comments will make any difference to the outcome , or elicit any reply from you, as you've probably already decided the outcome. I would ask you however to reconsider and not throw the baby out with the bath water . This is OUR station , and from the responses on this site I'm not alone in thinking this. PLEASE reconsider if not for your listeners then for your , hoped for, future income. It would be nice to have further feedback fom Bauer on this matter, but frankly, it doesn't sound as though tjey give a toss about local listeners, just an homogenised pile of national uniform blanket coverage .
Barra, on 30th May 2020 8:38pm
Will we be able to still purchase the local voucher deals on the new radio station ? And how do we sign the petition to help stop us loosing our local radio station.
Barra, on 31st May 2020 8:30pm
Nothing rarely changes for the better, and certainly not in this case, this was a radio station for the locals. Can the presenters not start up there own local radio station ?. I will also miss the Yorkshire coast money off vouchers, they won’t have them anymore as they were mostly local businesses that you were helping.
John Humphreys, on 1st June 2020 10:38am
This is very sad news. I live in Sheffield but Whitby is my home. I have YCR on as much as possible to keep me connected to the region. Some corporate monster just swallows up these local stations without any comprehension of the concepts of loyalty, belonging or community. Regrettably I won't be listening to the "new and improved" sole-less empty husk that is to come. Alas as others have commented this protest will probably fall on deaf ears because "business is business".
Good luck and best wishes to all the people who work on YCR, you have been good friends to me.
sleepybear, on 2nd June 2020 2:59pm
Hmmm sounds like a good opening for round two of pirate radio stations a la Caroline 247 etc You listening Paddy, Richard Griffin, Tom Hooper, Matthew Pells, Mike Nicholson, Kevin Roberts ? Find yourself at a loose end in September set up your own station ? :D
Bobbarn, on 3rd June 2020 8:01am
I am not happy that we are loosing yor I listen everyday but will not listen when the changes come in .
The staff at the station are the best in the country
JHD, on 4th June 2020 4:15pm
What the heck, the name is Yorkshire coast radio (not country wide radio). I for one will not be tuning in if we lose our local radio presenters. Why do these big companies have to buy up smaller ones and do nothing but try and wreck them. Have a heart, let us keep our local radio and presenters please.
alison armitage, on 4th June 2020 4:34pm
Cannot believe this news. I never listen to anything else on my radio, but can definitely say that I will not be listening to this new station. The presenters feel like personal friends and will be really missed with all their local knowledge. What a sad day for the Yorkshire coast.

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