Thursday, January 5, 2023

Absolute Radio to turn off its medium wave transmitters - Jan 2023

On the 4th of January 2023, Absolute Radio announced that they were switching off their network of medium wave transmitters. It is expected to happen on the 23rd of January 2023.

Virgin Radio was launched as an AM only network back in 1993 and it was rebranded as Absolute Radio in 2008. 

While they have closed down a few AM relays in recent years, the January 2023 shutdown is a huge change. I counted no fewer than 20 transmitters on their medium wave network that will close. These are shown in the map above.

According to Ian O'Neill of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, AM radio accounts for just 2% of the listeners in the UK but makes up 35% of the radio transmission energy costs. With stats like those, it's no great surprise that the AM network will be shut down.

From my location here on the south coast of Ireland, the signal from Washford is a reasonable signal during the day. As the years go by, the number of medium wave stations within range is reducing bit by bit. 

The main high power medium transmitters are on 1215 KHz with lower power relays on other frequencies shown below.

1215 kHz (Red)
Station Transmitter kW  
Absolute Radio Brookmans Park 62.5
Absolute Radio Droitwich 52.5
Absolute Radio Westerglen 50
Absolute Radio Moorside Edge 50
Absolute Radio Washford 50
Absolute Radio Lisnagarvey 16
Absolute Radio Newcastle upon Tyne 2.2
Absolute Radio Postwick 1.2
Absolute Radio Fareham 1

1197 kHz (Blue)
Absolute Radio Brighton 1.1
Absolute Radio Nottingham 0.5
Absolute Radio Gloucester 0.3
Absolute Radio Bournemouth 0.25
Absolute Radio Oxford 0.25

1233 kHz (Orange)
Absolute Radio Northampton 0.5
Absolute Radio Manningtree 0.5 

1242 kHz (Green)
Absolute Radio Boston 2
Absolute Radio Stockton-on-Tees 1
Absolute Radio Stoke-on-Trent 0.5

1260 kHz (Purple)
Absolute Radio Lydd 1

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