It began broadcasting in 1974 as Piccadilly Radio, the first
commercial radio station in
* 1 History
* 1.1 Early years * 1.2 FM/MW split * 1.3 Magic 1152 * 1.4 Key 2
* 2 Programming
* 2.1 News and Sport
* 3 References * 4 External links
Piccadilly Radio (Medium Wave) logos throughout the years. Piccadilly Magic 1152 logo used from 1998 to 2015.
The station began broadcasting on 2 April 1974 as Piccadilly Radio on 261m (1151 kHz then) AM/MW and on 97.0 MHz FM (from the same transmitter in Saddleworth that is used by Key 103 today). The station is named after Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester, and Piccadilly Plaza was home to the station's first studios until 1996, when Piccadilly 1152 and Key 103 were relocated to the Castlefield area of Manchester.
Many of Britain's best-known presenters started their careers at Piccadilly, including Chris Evans , Mike Sweeney , Steve Penk , James H Reeve , Andy Peebles , Gary Davies , Tim Grundy , Timmy Mallett , Pete Mitchell , Geoff Lloyd , Mark Radcliffe , James Stannage , Nick Robinson and Karl Pilkington . Journalist Paul Lockitt joined Piccadilly in 1979 and endures as the radio station's longest serving broadcaster after 30-plus years as a producer, presenter and newscaster.
See also: Key 103
PICCADILLY RADIO split into two services in 1988, with Key 103 broadcast on FM with a contemporary format, while PICCADILLY GOLD broadcast on AM with a Gold format. In the mid-1990s Piccadilly Gold became PICCADILLY 1152 as the playlist moved away from "golden oldies" to a mix of classic and current easy-listening music. The late-night phone-in with James Stannage became the most listened-to talk show outside London, whilst the Dave Ward and Umberto breakfast show helped the station to become one of the biggest broadcasting on AM.
In 1994, a rival station,
Fortune 1458 (later renamed 1458 Lite AM,
today broadcasting as 1458
Capital Gold ) commenced on the old BBC GMR
AM frequency. Despite heavy marketing, and many ex-Piccadilly
presenters on the new station, Piccadilly 1152 remained Manchester's
most popular station, other than sister station Key 103, until the
late 1990s when new smaller FM stations in
In 1994, Piccadilly (Key 103/Piccadilly 1152) were part of the Transworld Radio Group , which was bought by present owners Bauer Radio (then EMAP ). In 1999/2000 the parent company EMAP re-branded the station as MAGIC 1152, to fall in-line with the other nine Magic Radio stations they owned across London and the north of England. The idea of a "Magic brand" of stations was seen to be beneficial when selling air time to national advertisers. This change in name also coincided with the 25th birthday of Piccadilly Radio. The station was branded as "Piccadilly 1152 - the magic of Manchester" during the transition
Except for a short spell in 2000 (when Key 103 was briefly renamed Piccadilly Key 103), the name Piccadilly disappeared from the airwaves.
In December 2001, EMAP decided that it was more economical for the Magic network to share off-peak programmes. Magic 1152, in line with the other seven Magic AM stations in northern England, began networking 10am-2pm, and 7pm-6am with the London station Magic 105.4 providing the programmes - during these hours it was simply known as MAGIC, although there were local commercial breaks, and local news on the hour.
In January 2003 after a sharp decline in listening, the station ceased networking with the London station, Magic 105.4 , and a regional northern network was created with Magic 1152 at the hub at the weekend and the Newcastle station of the same name during the week. During networked hours, local adverts were aired, as well as a local news summary on the hour.
From July 2006, more networking was introduced across the Northern Magic AM network which meant only 4 hours a day was to be presented from the local studios, between 06:00 and 10:00am. In April 2012 Magic 1152, inline with the majority of other Magic North stations, dropped local weekend breakfast shows.
On 5 January 2015, Magic 1152 was rebranded as Key 2, as Magic FM in London went national on DAB. The station is now part of the Bauer City 2 network. All programming is networked with the other Bauer AM stations in the North although local news, weather and travel continue to be broadcast as opt-outs during the day. Since the rebrand the station's audience share has fallen dramatically.
The majority of Key 2's programming is taken from the Bauer City 2 network, although there are separate shows for northern England at peak times, including weekday breakfast and drive time.
Much of the networked output is produced by the station, with other
programming originating from
Clyde 2 in
NEWS AND SPORT
Key 2 broadcasts local news bulletins hourly from 6am to 7pm on weekdays, from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays and from 9am to 12pm on Sundays. Headlines are broadcast on the half-hour during weekday breakfast and drivetime shows, alongside sport and traffic bulletins.
* ^ Magic AM starts networking at breakfast Radio Today, 15 February 2013 * ^ Schedule released for Bauer City 2 stations, RadioToday, 19 December