NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Radio station Northsound to switch off analogue service

One of the best-known local radio stations in Scotland is to stop broadcasting on medium wave.

Northsound 2 in Aberdeen will be the first established radio station in Scotland to end analogue broadcasting.

From 3 April, it will only be available on digital radio and online. Sister station Northsound 1 will still be available on FM as well as digital.

Northsound is owned by Bauer Media which owns all the so-called "legacy" local radio stations in Scotland.

These stations, which were opened in the 1970s and 80s, include Radio Clyde, Radio Tay and Radio Forth.

Originally Northsound, like other local radio stations, broadcast on both FM and medium wave - but in the 1990s it started to provide distinct services on each frequency.

'Fully digital'

In recent years, all its programming has been shared with other Scottish medium wave stations owned by Bauer, although it still has local news, travel and advertising.

No plans have been announced so far for any other Bauer stations to cease medium wave broadcasting.

Northsound said: "Digital listening makes up nearly 50% of all radio consumption and is growing rapidly.

"Our transmitter site is being re-developed by the landlord, so we took the opportunity to take the station fully digital rather than invest significantly in a replacement transmitter that could be obsolete in a few years."

Across Britain, nearly half of radio listening is now through digital broadcasting - including DAB digital radio, online and slots on digital television.

It seems certain that all BBC and professional commercial broadcasting on FM and medium wave will eventually end, but a switchover date has not yet been set.

BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live will continue to be available on AM frequencies across Scotland.

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