Monday, 14 July 2014



Forty years ago today the Metropolitan Broadcasting Company, otherwise known as MBC or simply Metro Radio took to the airwaves of north east England. It was the sixth Independent Local Radio (ILR) station to open in the United Kingdom, and part of the first tranche of nineteen of such stations that would commence broadcasting by April, 1976.

Commercial radio back then was a new medium in a country that since the invention of radio in the early twentieth century had been allowed little choice when it came to listening to legal broadcasts. Domestically, there was just the BBC or Radio Luxembourg from the Continent. These were joined in the sixties by a plethora of pirate stations, operating from international waters in the North Sea.

Eventually the Government relaxed the broadcasting rules and regulated for ILR. This was a system of generally low power local radio stations that were required to identify strongly with their local communities via news, current affairs, sport, other speech-based, music and specialist programmes.

And so it was that Metro Radio commenced broadcasting on Monday July 15, 1974 to the north east of England. It had one of the largest service areas of any ILR station and despite the relaxation of government regulations, format changes and ownership over the decades, it has survived to become one of the most popular FM hit music commercial stations in the UK. Its original AM channel plays host to one of the most popular, varied and personality-driven oldies services in the form of Magic 1152.

Metro Radio is now owned by Bauer Media Group which itself has a lengthy pedigree dating back to 1875.

In celebration of this multi-award winning radio station and business success story, we present this website as a tribute from a listener's perspective. The site has celebrated Metro Radio's history since early 2003, but has been fortified recently with a large quantity of audio recordings and photographic material. The generous donation of material from Giles Squire, Len Groat, Neil Siddaway, Brian Lister, Dave Porter, Brian Clough, Philip Dack and the late David Barras, is especially acknowledged.

To get you started on your fascinating multimedia history tour of the North East Sound, here is a news report about the opening of Metro Radio, way back on July 15, 1974, courtesy of Tyne Tees Television. The first voice to be heard was Breakfast Show presenter, Don Dwyer and the station's first managing director, Bruce Lewis.

Enjoy your visit!

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