England

West Midlands radio names dropped after decades

Some commercial radio stations in the West Midlands region are to drop names used for more than three decades.

Orion Media said promoting four brand names, BRMB, Beacon, Mercia and Wyvern, which will all become Free Radio in April, was not "financially feasible".

Jobs would not be cut and current local output would remain, the owner added.

The oldest are BRMB, which began in Birmingham in 1974, and Black Country-based Beacon. It started in 1976 and in 1987 launched a service for Shropshire.

'Love for radio'

Mercia, for Coventry and Warwickshire, began broadcasting in 1980 and Wyvern, which serves Herefordshire and Worcestershire, started in 1982.

Orion Media chief executive Phil Riley said: "We are obviously saddened to be losing radio names with the heritage of BRMB, Beacon, Mercia and Wyvern, not least as many of us running the stations established our love for radio with them.

"However, it is the name which is changing, not the output or philosophy, which remains one rooted in serving the needs of local listeners at key peak times, and remaining true to the wider region at all times."

The company said in the region, other commercial radio stations have adopted network brand names and have promoted them effectively.

Mr Riley added: "There are no net job losses involved in this change; in fact, we expect to be employing more people after the transition."

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