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This is Heart!

Radio Broadland: From day one

On 1st October 1984 a brand new independent local radio station called Radio Broadland was launched by The Broadland Group. The company already had experience in media - mainly newspapers and television - but had little experience in radio. To help ensure the station was a success, a number of people with radio experience from across the country came together and helped the station start up. Russ Stuart came from Gwent Broadcasting, Mike Stewart from Radio West and Robb Young moved from Radio Orwell in Ipswich.


Mike Stewart put together the stations first team of presenters, all of whom had previous presenting experience. Nick Risby joined Radio Broadland from Red Rose, Tony Gillham came from Chiltern and BBC Bedfordshire, Dave Brown from Radio Tees, Rob Chandler from Radio Orwell and Adrian Finighan from Radio Gwent.

Radio Broadland Heart Norwich

For the first two years of the stations existence, Radio Broadland went off air every night at 10pm and then continued broadcasting the next morning. The station simulcast on 97.6FM and 1152AM for its first three years but in 1987 due to national changes in local radio frequencies, Radio Broadland moved to 102.4FM. Heart Norwich

Radio Broadland Heart Norwich

The East Anglian Radio Group

In 1990 The Broadland Group took over two other local radio stations, Radio Orwell and Saxon. The stations were renamed SGR and to reflect the addition of these new stations to the group, The Broadland Group became the East Anglian Radio Group. Heart Norwich

Radio Broadland Heart Norwich

Initially, Radio Broadland played both classic music and current chart hits, but in 1995 the decision was made by the East Anglian Radio Group to make better use of the AM slot. Amber Radio was created and played 60's and 70's music, leaving Broadland 102 to focus more on current and recent chart hits.

Radio Broadland Heart Norwich

The GWR era

In 1996 The GWR Group, who had been acquiring large numbers of radio stations and groups for around 7 years, decided to make a bid for the entire East Anglian Radio Group which now consisted of Broadland 102, SGR, and Amber Radio. After some resistance, the GWR takeover happened and there were some major changes to the station including the addition of networked programming and a new strapline "Today's Better Music Mix". Amber Radio, still in its infancy, was renamed Classic Gold Amber and local programming was substantially cut. Heart Radio Broadland Heart Norwich

GWR and Capital merge

In 2005, Broadland 102's owner, the GWR group merged with the Capital Radio Group to create GCap Media. In 2007, the station reverted back to the name Radio Broadland, adopting the 'More Music Variety' strapline to reflect a new emphasis on classic hits in place of chart material. Also in this year, as with all of GCap's One Network, the station gained a new logo and website and Classic Gold Amber became simply 'Gold'.

Radio Broadland Heart Norwich

The big rebrand

In the spring of 2008, GCap shareholders accepted 375 million for the group from Global Radio, the owner of Heart, LBC and Galaxy stations. Global's plan for the One Network was to rename each of the individual stations Heart to create an almost national brand. The South East region of the UK, which included Radio Broadland, was the first area to be changed. Radio Broadland became Heart Norwich at 6am on 5th January 2009. This brought a number of new programmes and presenters to the station such as Toby Anstis during daytimes as well as Club Classics at weekends and The Late Show every evening.

Radio Broadland Heart Norwich

Global Restructuring

On 21st June 2010, Global Radio announced that Heart Norwich and Heart Ipswich were to merge as part of plans to reduce the number of Heart stations from 33 to 15. The newly renamed Heart East Anglia began broadcasting to the whole of Norfolk and Suffolk from studios in Norwich on 6th September 2010.  

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