TFM (radio station)

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TFM logo 2015.png
City Newcastle
Broadcast area County Durham
North Yorkshire
Branding “The Biggest Hits, The Biggest Throwbacks”
Frequency FM: 96.6 MHz
DAB: 11B
First air date 24 June 1975
Format CHR
Owner Bauer Radio
Sister stations Greatest Hits Radio
Webcast Radioplayer
Website TFM

TFM is a local radio station owned and operated by Bauer Radio as part of the Hits Radio network. It broadcasts to County Durham and North Yorkshire from studios in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The station currently broadcasts on 96.6 FM, DAB and online with DAB services provided by Bauer Digital. In April 2013, the station was merged with Metro Radio in Newcastle.[1]


TFM logo used from 2013 to 2015.

From the start of broadcasting in 1975, TFM (then known as Radio Tees) was owned by Sound Broadcasting (Teesside) Ltd and originally broadcast on 257 Medium Wave only, with a later launch on 95 VHF. After a government radio frequency re shuffle in the mid-1980s, the FM frequency was swapped with BBC Radio Cleveland and Radio Tees shifted to 96.6 FM in 1986. In 1988 Radio Tees was relaunched as TFM 96.6 after being taken over by Newcastle upon Tyne based Metro Radio Group. Shortly after this, a new Medium Wave station called Great North Radio (GNR) was launched after broadcasting rules meant TFM could not broadcast on both FM and Medium Wave.

In the late 1990s, TFM was taken over by EMAP along with the rest of the Metro Radio Group stations and integrated into EMAP's Big City Group. Shortly after this the station was re branded 96.6 TFM. In July 2007, TFM was rebranded TFM Radio and re adopted the slogan Today's Favourite Music which had first been used in the late 1990s.

In 2008, EMAP, a publicly listed company, was then bought by Bauer Media, a privately owned German based family business, the radio group was renamed Bauer Place.

Merger with Metro Radio

As of Monday 8 April 2013, all programming is shared with sister station Metro Radio in Newcastle. The TFM branding was retained along with separate news bulletins and advertising. Two journalists are based locally for newsgathering in the TFM area.[1] The two stations were able to merge without consultation because both the TFM and Metro licence areas are located in one OFCOM-approved broadcast area (North East England).[2]

The TFM studios in Thornaby were closed and remaining staff were moved to Newcastle. Most on-air staff were made redundant,[3] including breakfast presenters Wayne Tunnicliffe and Amy McConnell, who were replaced by Metro Radio counterparts Steve Furnell and Karen Wight.[4] Despite the merger, RAJAR reported an increase in weekly listener reach for TFM during the second quarter of 2013.[5]


Local programming for TFM is currently syndicated via Metro Radio's Newcastle studios from 6-10am and 4-7pm on weekdays.[6]

All networked output, including all weekend programming (apart from local news), originates via the Hits Radio Network, based in Manchester. From September 2019, the regional Drivetime show will be replaced with a networked programme from Manchester, including opt-outs for local news and traffic.[7]


TFM broadcasts local news bulletins hourly from 6 am to 7 pm on weekdays and from 7 am to 1 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Headlines are broadcast on the half hour during weekday breakfast and drivetime shows, alongside traffic bulletins.

National bulletins from Sky News Radio are carried overnight with bespoke networked bulletins on weekend afternoons, usually originating from Radio Aire's Leeds newsroom.


  1. ^ a b TFM leaves Teesside to share with Metro, RadioToday, 5 April 2013
  2. ^ Leading MEP to demand action from Ofcom over TFM/Metro merger The Northern Echo, 7 April 2013
  3. ^ Former DJ 'Goffy' hits out at TFM Radio and Metro Radio's merger Chronicle Live, 7 April 2013
  4. ^ Backlash from listeners as Bauer moves TFM out of Teesside Prolific North, 8 April 2013
  5. ^ Around the stations for RAJAR Q2, 2013 Radio Today, 1 August 2013
  6. ^ TFM Public File
  7. ^ Bauer to network drivetime across 11 licences in North and Midlands, Radio Today, 5 August 2019

External links

  • TFM
  • TFM - DJs
  • TFM Bauer Media Advertising
  • TFM studio photos 2003 by Richard Moore

Coordinates: 54°33′32″N 1°18′19″W / 54.55889°N 1.30528°W / 54.55889; -1.30528

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