Radio X (United Kingdom)

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"XFM" redirects here. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_0

For other uses, see XFM (disambiguation). Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_1

Not to be confused with Radio Exe. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_2

Radio X (United Kingdom)_table_infobox_0

Radio XRadio X (United Kingdom)_table_caption_0
Broadcast areaRadio X (United Kingdom)_header_cell_0_0_0 United KingdomRadio X (United Kingdom)_cell_0_0_1
FrequencyRadio X (United Kingdom)_header_cell_0_1_0 Radio X (United Kingdom)_cell_0_1_1
RDSRadio X (United Kingdom)_header_cell_0_2_0 Radio_X_Radio X (United Kingdom)_cell_0_2_1
SloganRadio X (United Kingdom)_header_cell_0_3_0 Get Into The MusicRadio X (United Kingdom)_cell_0_3_1
ProgrammingRadio X (United Kingdom)_header_cell_0_4_0
FormatRadio X (United Kingdom)_header_cell_0_5_0 Alternative musicRadio X (United Kingdom)_cell_0_5_1
OwnershipRadio X (United Kingdom)_header_cell_0_6_0
OwnerRadio X (United Kingdom)_header_cell_0_7_0 Global RadioRadio X (United Kingdom)_cell_0_7_1
Sister stationsRadio X (United Kingdom)_header_cell_0_8_0 Capital FM

Capital XTRA Classic FM Gold Heart Heart 70s Heart 80s Heart 90s Heart Dance Heart Extra LBC LBC News Smooth RadioRadio X (United Kingdom)_cell_0_8_1

HistoryRadio X (United Kingdom)_header_cell_0_9_0
First air dateRadio X (United Kingdom)_header_cell_0_10_0 Radio X (United Kingdom)_cell_0_10_1
LinksRadio X (United Kingdom)_header_cell_0_11_0
WebcastRadio X (United Kingdom)_header_cell_0_12_0 Radio X (United Kingdom)_cell_0_12_1
WebsiteRadio X (United Kingdom)_header_cell_0_13_0 Q2072562#P856Radio X (United Kingdom)_cell_0_13_1

Radio X is a British National commercial radio station focused on alternative music, primarily indie rock, and owned by Global. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_3

Radio X launched nationally on 21 September 2015 as a rebrand of Xfm and superseded Xfm London and Xfm Manchester. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_4

The station has employed a number of personalities that have since gone on to greater fame including Russell Brand, Karl Pilkington, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Simon Pegg, Christian O'Connell, Justin Lee Collins, Adam and Joe, Alex Zane, Tim Lovejoy, Dermot O'Leary and Josh Widdicombe. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_5

History Radio X (United Kingdom)_section_0

Xfm was created in London in 1992 by Sammy Jacob (who founded its precursor Q102) and Chris Parry. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_6

The station became full-time on 1 September 1997. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_7

During the following year the station played a range of music from its studios in 97 Charlotte Street. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_8

Jacob would later go on to co-found NME Radio and CDNX (Camden Experience) in 2008 and 2015 respectively. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_9

In 1998, Xfm was acquired by the Capital Radio Group (now part of Global Radio) and relocated from Charlotte Street to Capital's headquarters at Leicester Square, where it remains today. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_10

On 23 August of that year, Xfm was closed down for four days, during which a test tape featuring mainstream soft-rock acts was looped. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_11

The station subsequently relaunched with a more mainstream format, and a new advert featuring a cartoon radio saying "Don't be afraid! Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_12

", which referred to the perceived inaccessibility of its old format. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_13

The soft-rock revamp was not a success, culminating in listener-led protests outside the Capital Radio studios. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_14

Listeners also lodged objections with the Radio Authority, which found XFM to be acting in a manner contrary to its licence requirements, and a degree of alternative output was eventually restored, particularly through night-time playlists and specialist shows. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_15

Following the take-over by Capital, the station dropped its wide-ranging music policy, which was replaced by a format based on USA college stations. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_16

The first audience figures after this change showed a sharp decline. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_17

The DJs were no longer able to select some of their own tracks, and specialist shows were dropped. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_18

The station soon became more male-orientated and featured football coverage and "laddish" output. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_19

This came to an end after the Radio Authority fined XFM £50,000 for breakfast presenter Tom Binns's joking about bestiality on air. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_20

Capital Radio attempted to increase XFM's listening figures, recruiting DJs such as Zoe Ball, former BBC Radio 1 presenter, and re-recruiting comedians Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant who took voluntary redundancy when Capital bought the station, after the pair rose to significance with the first airing of The Office. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_21

Together with talent such as Zane Lowe and Christian O'Connell, this yielded growing listening figures. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_22

The music was, and is today, a play-listed mix of popular indie and soft rock. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_23

Host John Kennedy is the only member of the current presenter lineup that has been with the radio station since its very first broadcasts. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_24

His new music show, X-Posure is the station's longest running show and is credited as being the first to give radio play to artists including Adele, Florence and the Machine, Razorlight and Mumford & Sons. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_25

Expansion of the Xfm Network Radio X (United Kingdom)_section_1

Xfm has held 28-day Restricted Service Licence FM broadcasts in a number of British cities, including Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_26

In 2000, Xfm London was added to a number of DAB multiplexes around the country, and in January 2006 its reach expanded when it replaced The Storm on a number of other local multiplexes, creating near-national coverage. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_27

It was at one point reported that this 'national' version of Xfm London (known as Xfm UK) would have local content drop-ins within it (e.g. news, travel) over time, but this ultimately never came to pass. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_28

Most DAB coverage of XFM carried the London version of the station, but for a time some multiplexes in the North of England instead received a feed of XFM Manchester. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_29

In 2001, Xfm rehired Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant to run the Saturday afternoon show. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_30

Karl Pilkington joined them to 'just push the buttons' but eventually became the focal point of the show. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_31

The trio often called the station a 'tin pot station', 'shoddy' and 'not just a small station in London but the smallest station in that building'. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_32

By 2002, the station had added many specialist shows, such as 'London Express', 'The A-Z of Alternative Music' and 'The Remix'. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_33

Afternoon and early-evening shows with Zane Lowe and Tim Lovejoy were innovative and although the daytime playlist consisted of 40 current releases, these were changed frequently, and the overall playlist contained about 90 records. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_34

However, in time the specialist shows gradually declined in number, and the playlist was again restricted in number. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_35

On 9 June 2005, the group was awarded a permanent FM broadcasting licence to serve the city of Manchester as Xfm Manchester. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_36

This station went on air in March 2006. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_37

Also in 2005, Xfm was among the bidders for the regional North East franchise on 97.5 FM, but this licence was ultimately awarded to Smooth Radio by Ofcom. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_38

On 4 January 2006, GCap Media relaunched its Central Scotland regional station Beat 106 as Xfm Scotland. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_39

In 2007, a fourth station joined the network with the launch of a new regional Xfm for south Wales, based at the Cardiff studio also home to Red Dragon FM (now Capital South Wales). Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_40

Output changes Radio X (United Kingdom)_section_2

In May 2007, in an attempt to cut costs, the parent company of Xfm, GCap Media, announced that they would be removing all presenters from the daytime (10 am–4 pm) lineup and replacing them with a jukebox based upon listener requests through their websites. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_41

On 6 March 2008 an announcement was made reversing the decision to remove daytime presenters. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_42

From 25 March 2008 a new schedule restoring daytime schedules was put in place. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_43

A new schedule was launched on 12 January 2009. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_44

Changes at this date included Jo Good leaving the Afternoon Show, including Afternoon X List, and new signing Richard Skinner taking over the Morning Show from Rick Shaw. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_45

The times of the shows were also adjusted, with the morning show only becoming a two-hour show (previously a three-hour show) and the afternoon show becoming a four-hour show (previously a 3-hour show). Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_46

The weekend schedule was also adjusted at this time, with Rick Shaw moving to present the Weekend Morning Show on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm and Lliana Bird taking over the afternoon slots. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_47

This led to other changes in the weekend schedule, such as Marsha Shandur's Sunday Brunch ending, and the air times of Marc Haynes Certificate X changing (from 1 pm – 3 pm to 6 pm – 8 pm). Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_48

Jo Good left the station during these changes, but rejoined at the end of 2012. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_49

On 11 February 2008 GCap Media announced that they would be selling the analogue licence for the Manchester, Scotland and South Wales stations, retaining only XFM London. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_50

This decision was made in an attempt to shore up profits and concentrate on 'winning brands', calling the former nationalisation strategy into question. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_51

After this announcement, in early 2008, breakfast show host Alex Zane admitted on air that the future of the London station was also being reviewed, even making jokey references to perhaps being out of a job soon. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_52

The sale of the South Wales station went ahead, with Town and Country Broadcasting relaunching this as Nation Radio; the sale of the Scotland and Manchester stations was suspended when Global Radio entered into discussions to purchase GCap Media. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_53

The re-appointment of a previous Programme Controller in 2011 led to a number of changes to Xfm's output. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_54

Specialist shows such as Music:Response and Mix Master Mike Show returned, as did presenter Danny Wallace. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_55

In September 2011 a new Xfm schedule began, and included Mary Anne Hobbs moving to a re-launched evening show, Music:Response. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_56

A new "local" slot was introduced. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_57

Broadcaster Richard Skinner left the station after two years. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_58

The show Import:Export, produced and directed by Redefined Media, was resurrected and linked to KROQ Los Angeles. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_59

Further weekend signings included The Sun journalist Gordon Smart starting a three-hour Sunday show. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_60

Smart's show ended in October 2013 when he left to join the Scottish Sun as editor. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_61

As part of the 2013 schedule Jon Holmes took over the breakfast show. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_62

Comedian Josh Widdicombe presented a show on Saturdays between 10 am and 1 pm. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_63

It was announced in March 2015 that Russell Brand would be hosting a new Sunday night show, which was to first air on 15 March. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_64

Following Heart and Galaxy owner Global's takeover of GCap Media, Xfm Scotland became Galaxy (it went on to become Capital Scotland in 2011), leaving just Manchester and London with local Xfm stations. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_65

Following Global's acquisition of Real and Smooth Ltd, the Paisley/Renfrewshire 96.3 FM service previously broadcast as Real Radio XS became a new XFM Scotland in 2014. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_66

This service was available across central Scotland over DAB. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_67

Up until the end of the Xfm branding, the London, Manchester and Scotland stations broadcast 43 hours a week of local programming – weekday breakfast and drive, and four hours a day at weekends – with networked programming, primarily from London, at other times. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_68

TV platforms followed the London output and all three stations were streamed online. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_69

Rebrand as Radio X Radio X (United Kingdom)_section_3

On 7 September 2015, it was announced that Xfm would be rebranded as Radio X on 21 September. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_70

The rebrand was carried out in partnership with creative agency We Are MBC. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_71

The rebranded station launched with new presenters including Chris Moyles, Vernon Kay, Johnny Vaughan and Ricky Wilson joining some existing XFM presenters on a refreshed schedule. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_72

XFM aired its last day of programming on Sunday 13 September 2015. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_73

XFM Scotland ceased broadcasting entirely on the same day with Global Radio handing back the Paisley licence to Ofcom. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_74

A 'holding' service of music and announcements began transmitting on national DAB under the Radio X title the following day, with this service also taking the place of XFM on FM, TV and online until the full launch of the new Radio X at 6:30 am on Monday 21 September 2015. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_75

The first song played on the rebranded Radio X, by Chris Moyles just before 7 am on 21 September 2015, was "Love Machine" by Girls Aloud, an off-format nod to media reports of a male bias by the new station. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_76

Radio X is now available nationally via Digital One national DAB, with all local-layer XFM carriage dropped (replaced in many cases by Gold). Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_77

The new national Radio X also replaced XFM on FM in London and Manchester, and on other platforms including TV and online. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_78

There is no longer any local output on the Manchester station, and the only variance between the UK, London and Manchester services is split advertising and top-of-the-hour news intros. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_79

In October 2019, Radio X's DAB station switched to DAB+ using a lower quality 40bps stream. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_80

The change was made to make room for LBC News on the Digital One multiplex. Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_81

Stations Radio X (United Kingdom)_section_4

The stations which formerly comprised the Xfm network were: Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_82

Radio X (United Kingdom)_unordered_list_0

  • XFM London, which has been broadcasting on 104.9 FM in the Greater London area full-time since 1997 (and by Restricted Service Licence from 1992).Radio X (United Kingdom)_item_0_0
  • XFM Manchester, which was launched on 97.7 FM on 15 March 2006.Radio X (United Kingdom)_item_0_1

Notable presenters and programming Radio X (United Kingdom)_section_5

Current presenters Radio X (United Kingdom)_section_6

Former presenters Radio X (United Kingdom)_section_7

Former hosts on the network include: Radio X (United Kingdom)_sentence_83

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: X (United Kingdom).