Bauer National

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Bauer National is a portfolio of 7 radio brands in the United Kingdom, owned and operated by Bauer Radio.

Absolute Radio[edit]

Bauer purchased the Absolute Radio group of stations from TIML in 2013, the core Absolute Radio station had been established as one of the three Independent National Radio franchises in 1993, broadcasting on AM radio and, from 1999, national DAB; since 1995, a relay of the station (with split local advertising, and at some times split programming) has been available in London on 105.8 FM. Initially branded Virgin Radio, the station took the name Absolute Radio in 2008, the station has since launched a number of sister stations, currently comprising five decade-themed services and a dedicated classic-rock station.


Kiss plays predominantly rhythmic (dance/urban) music. The East and West versions of Kiss were previously SRH-owned Vibe stations, the three services now simulcast most programming content (from London), though retain the ability to split where needed, including for local advertising and news bulletins.


Magic 105.4 FM is a melodic adult-contemporary music service, available on FM in London and, since January 2015, on DAB nationally. It can also be heard on Freeview, Sky and online.

Two new sister services to Magic launched in March 2016 as part of the Sound Digital national DAB multiplex:

  • Mellow Magic plays predominantly melodic classic hits and love songs, building on the existing evening programming block of the same name within Magic; this station will be provided in the standard DAB format.
  • Magic Chilled plays laid-back modern hits (principally mellow chart pop of the 1990s and 2000s). It will be Bauer's first station to broadcast in the DAB+ format, and will therefore only be available on DAB+-compatible devices.

A third service in the Magic portfolio was added in summer 2016:

  • Magic Soul plays soul, funk, Motown and R&B music. The station launched to local-level DAB in a number of areas in summer 2016 as pop-up service Magic Soul Summer, before being retained - under a shortened permanent title - from the autumn. Presented shows - voicetracked by existing Magic DJs - have been introduced to the station, which is now promoted as part of the Magic family alongside the Chilled and Mellow stations.

Planet Rock[edit]

Planet Rock is a DAB radio station, which plays primarily classic rock music. The station was established in 1999 and was initially run by the GWR Group; it was sold to Malcolm Bluemel's 'Rock Show' consortium in 2008 and from there to Bauer in 2013. Planet Rock is a digital-only service, transmitting on the DAB network (and through digital TV and online platforms), on 1 March 2016, Planet Rock ceased being a fully national station due to the station transferring to the Sound Digital multiplex, which is not available across all of the UK. Devon, Cornwall, parts of Scotland, Wales, East Anglia and other areas of the UK will no longer be able to receive Planet Rock on DAB.

Digital-only stations[edit]

  • Heat Radio - hot adult-contemporary and celebrity chat; on DAB in various areas, Freeview and online
  • The Hits - current and fresh hits, on DAB in a number of areas, and nationally over Freeview and online. From January 2015 to September 2017 its content aired on DAB as a network of localised Bauer City 3 stations.
  • Kerrang Radio - modern rock music, on DAB in London, Freeview nationally and online; its DAB slots outside London were turned over to Absolute Radio 90s in December 2014

Former stations[edit]

  • 3C - country music station, based in Glasgow, acquired as part of SRH takeover, broadcast on DAB in various areas and Freeview nationally; closed 2007; replaced on Freeview by a relay of Clyde 1 for a time.
  • Mojo Radio - classic rock, early pop, blues and soul; broadcast on digital TV and online; ceased broadcasting in 2008.
  • Q Radio - rock, alternative rock; broadcast nationally on Freeview and online; closed on 7 May 2013; replaced by Kisstory.
  • Smash Hits Radio - contemporary pop hits; following its removal from DAB it continued over Freeview, until being withdrawn to release a slot for KissFresh
  • Kerrang! 105.2 - local station broadcasting to the West Midlands and based in Lionel Street, Birmingham. It was also relayed on DAB in various areas and Freeview nationally, it was removed from FM to be replaced by Planet Rock, with the Kerrang! brand retained as a digital-only station run from London.

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