Tuesday, 6 January 2015


Metro Radio's studio in Swalwell, Gateshead,
photographed here in November, 1974.
Metro Radio began broadcasting on July 15, 1974. Officially named the Metropolitan Broadcasting Company Limited (MBC), it supplied programmes initially between 6.00am and 2.00am the following morning.

The new studios were located on a light industrial estate at Radio House, Longrigg, Swalwell on the southern bank of the River Tyne, slightly west of Gateshead.

The first programme was The Breakfast Show with Don Dwyer, an Australian presenter who had worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and Harry Rowell who had previously worked in the News Department of Tyne Tees Television.

MBC reflected life in Tyne and Wear, and unlike many fledgling ILR stations of the time, pop music and entertainment were to be of less importance in its early programme schedules.  Indeed, its early output relied heavily on speech-based programmes, such as news, costly-to-produce dramas, children's programmes and documentaries.

This website is a tribute to a unique, innovative, creative, entertaining and informative radio station, and to the people with flare, passion and imagination that ensured that over four decades it would develop into one of the most successful examples of commercial radio in Britain. This of course extends down through the decades to Metro Radio’s management, presenters, newsreaders, administrative staff, advertisers, and last but not least its highly loyal and enthusiastic listeners. The extensive and nostalgic jingles, programmes and videos are bound to provoke the fondest and happiest memories of those who have lived in north east England.

The website and associated blog also records Metro Radio's fascinating history as an independent company, its merger with Radio Tees 257 in 1986, the AM/FM split (the end of so-called ‘simulcasting’ by the IBA on Medium Wave/VHF (FM)) that created Metro FM and Great North Radio (GNR), and  the EMAP acquisition of 1997. This brings us right up to date with Metro Radio and its sister station on AM, Metro Radio 2 The Greatest Hits (formerly Magic 1152) being owned and operated by Bauer Media Group.



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