Major announcement on Stray FM's future in Harrogate

More details have been released about Harrogate Stray FM radios station's imminent transformation into  Greatest Hits Radio with support for the community during Covid highlighted as part of a new set of pledges.

By Graham Chalmers
Thursday, 13th August 2020, 1:06 pm
Greatest Hits Radio Network, which includes Stray FM in Harrogate, announced today they will welcome esteemed broadcaster and author Simon Mayo to their line-up.

In a statement issued today, owners Bauer Media said it was proud to detail a package of local initiatives that Greatest Hits Radio will launch within North Yorkshire, aimed at helping local workers, charities and businesses as they deal with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The rebranding of Stray FM has already led to concern and protests across Harrogate about its future role in the town.

But Bauer says Minster FM, Stray FM and Yorkshire Coast Radio will all lead the initiatives within the region, as they relaunch as Greatest Hits Radio in September with the news Simon Mayo is to join the station line-up.

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To coincide with the relaunch, the three stations are to offer free advertising airtime to charities, hospices and other not-for-profit community organisations to support them in communicating messages and campaigns as they rebuild their fundraising base post-lockdown.

In addition, they will launch the ‘Getting North Yorkshire Back to Work’ campaign that will promote local job opportunities both on-air and online.

Local employers will be encouraged to submit vacancies for inclusion, allowing them to reach a wide audience of local job-seekers free of charge. Job vacancy bulletins will be broadcast four times a day to local audiences and will be promoted on the relevant Greatest Hits Radio website.

As the station get set to join the Greatest Hits Radio Network, it is also announced today they will welcome esteemed broadcaster Simon Mayo to their line-up.

The former BBC Radio 2 host currently hosts a daytime programme on Greatest Hits Radio’s classical sister station, Scala Radio.

However, with this move he’ll be returning to his popular music roots as he presents a new weekend show. ‘The Album Show with Simon Mayo’ will be a weekly three-hour programme dedicated to the greatest albums of all time, including features that explore listeners’ record collections and a weekly Classic Album Countdown.

This show aims to celebrate the good times and great memories albums bring as Simon plays their Greatest Hits.

Graham Bryce, group managing director of Hits Radio Network Brand, said, “As we look to the future, we’re very excited to add Simon Mayo to our weekend line-up.

"Simon’s track record speaks for itself and to have someone of his experience and status join the network adds a new dimension to the Greatest Hits presenter line-up.

“Alongside this, our stations continue to be committed to the local community and we’re proud to launch these initiatives that we hope will provide a valuable boost at a time of great uncertainty and hardship.

We know the pandemic has hit communities across the UK hard, and we want to use our privileged position to promote opportunities and shine a light on the local champions doing vital work to support the most vulnerable.”

Greatest Hits Radio, which will officially launch in North Yorkshire on 1st September, offers listeners the biggest songs of the 70s, 80s and 90s, celebrating music from iconic artists like Blondie, Queen, George Michael, Madonna, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, Elton John and Whitney Houston.

The presenter line-up will include legendary broadcasters Mark Goodier, Paul Gambaccini, Simon Mayo, Janice Long, Alex Lester and Pat Sharp as well as much-loved Greatest Hits Radio Network presenters Simon 'Rossie' Ross, and Andy Crane.

Online applications for both initiatives will open on September 1, 2020.

Employers looking to participate in the ‘Getting Yorkshire Back to Work’ campaign should email [email protected] for more information on how to apply.

Minster FM, Stray FM and Yorkshire Coast Radio sales teams will be reaching out directly to existing local charity and non-profit partners regarding free advertising airtime. Other organisations looking to participate should contact the station directly or [email protected]

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