Like Acquires Glasgow Small-Scale License

Like Media Group, under the Like DAB banner, have acquired the license for the Glasgow small-scale DAB multiplex from Nation Broadcasting. Nation Broadcasting latterly operated the trial small-scale multiplex in Glasgow, having acquired the multiplex alongside Dumbarton area station Your Radio in 2018, from Brave Broadcasting.

Nation Broadcasting subsequently won the permanent small-scale multiplex license from Ofcom earlier this year, with the license having been uncontested. Recent developments saw the trial multiplex close to focus efforts on the permanent multiplex. The previous news article on the trial multiplex closure can be read here.

Meanwhile, Your Radio itself has now effectively closed, with the station having simulcast Nation Radio Scotland since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. This move looks set to be permanent, although no official confirmation of this has been given, beyond obtaining the necessary license variations from regulator Ofcom.

Like DAB won the Isles of Scilly small-scale multiplex license, and are preparing to launch both multiplexes in 2022. Like appear to be re-focusing their efforts on small-scale DAB, having removed their main station, Like Radio, from the Gloucestershire, Hereford and Worcester, and Somerset local DAB multiplexes.

Like Media Group previously owned Imagine Radio in the Greater Manchester and Peak District area, sold to and subsequently closed by Bauer Media. Like Media also for a time operated the Durham and Darlington FM licenses, using the brand names Durham Radio and Alpha Radio. These have also been sold, and now broadcast Sun FM, a station owned by Nation Broadcasting and based in Sunderland.

Nation Broadcasting appear to be taking the opposite approach, instead concentrating on expand their larger regional FM services, alongside shareholdings in larger local DAB multiplexes. Nation Broadcasting have recently expanded their DAB portfolio, with the recently launched Channel Islands DAB multiplex, and the soon to launch Morecambe Bay DAB multiplex.

Launch Date Confirmed for Morecambe Bay DAB Multiplex

Muxco Cumbria have confirmed that the forthcoming DAB multiplex for the Morecambe Bay area will launch on the 1st December.

The multiplex, which will also cover South Cumbria, will launch with a variety of national, local/regional, and community services. Included from launch will be BBC Radio Cumbria, community services Cando FM and Bay Trust Radio, and national services Capital, Heart, and Smooth Radio.

The multiplex coverage area will broadly mirror existing FM services, and will use a mixture of conventional DAB and the newer DAB+ format. Some older DAB radios will not be able to receive all stations.

Muxco Cumbria is a joint venture between Nation Broadcasting (owners of Nation Radio), and local DAB multiplex operator Muxco.

Trial Glasgow Small Scale Multiplex to Close

The current trial small scale DAB multiplex in Glasgow is to close on Friday (8th October 2021), as the equipment used by the multiplex has reached the end of its life.

Nation Broadcasting, who operate the multiplex have said it would cost significant investments of time and money to continue the multiplex. Instead, they have opted to focus efforts on building the replacement permanent small scale multiplex, to which they were awarded the license for earlier this year.

As the permanent multiplex is not expected to launch until mid-2022, there will be a significant period in which some services will be unable to broadcast to Glasgow. Off the affected services, only Nation Radio Scotland (also owned by Nation Broadcasting) has moved to a different multiplex, in this case the Central Scotland regional multiplex.

Nation Radio Scotland has dropped bitrate as part of the move, from 112 kbps joint stereo to 80 kbps mono, but has gained wider coverage and is now available across the whole of the central belt of Scotland. Nation Radio Scotland is also available on 96.3 FM in the Glasgow area, and service does still appear to be targeted to Glasgow and the West of Scotland.