BBC to switch off more local radio medium wave transmitters

Some of the BBC’s local radio stations will no longer be transmitted on medium wave later this year.

Each station will continue on FM, DAB digital radio and online. The first transmitter will be switched off in February with all 18 affected transmitters closed by mid-2020.

The BBC closed some local radio transmitters in 2018. Stations like BBC Wiltshire are no longer available on medium wave, while BBC Essex continues on two medium wave frequencies after one transmitter was closed.

The local radio stations which will no longer be available on medium wave are:

  • BBC Radio Cornwall
  • BBC Radio Merseyside
  • BBC Radio Newcastle
  • BBC Radio Solent (for Dorset)
  • BBC Radio Solent
  • BBC Three Counties Radio (3CR)
  • BBC Radio York

Some of the BBC’s local and regional radio stations will see their medium wave coverage reduced. BBC Radio Scotland will have reduced coverage in and around both Aberdeen and Kirkcudbright, while BBC Wales will be affected in the Tywyn, Forden and Llandrindod Wells transmitter areas.

BBC Radio Norfolk will no longer be available in areas around Norwich. Local station BBC Radio Cumbria will see its coverage reduced in Whitehaven. However, Whitehaven will gain BBC Radio Cumbria on DAB digital radio when new transmitters are launched by the end of 2020.

National stations Absolute Radio and talkSPORT have applied to Ofcom to reduce their medium wave coverage, while Northsound 2 left medium wave in favour of digital only transmissions.

Almost two thirds of radio listeners now listen to digital radio on a digital platform every week. According to the most recent listening data from RAJAR, 56.8% of radio listening is with a digital platform.