BBC Radio Leeds


BBC Radio Leeds is the BBC's local radio station serving the county of West Yorkshire.

BBC Radio Leeds
CityLeeds
Broadcast areaWest Yorkshire
FrequencyFM: 92.4, 95.3, 102.7, 103.9 MHz
DAB: 12D
Freeview: 719
RDSBBC LEED
SloganThe sound of West Yorkshire and all the music you love
Programming
FormatLocal news, talk and music
History
First air date
24 June 1968
Former frequencies
MW: 774 kHz
Links
WebsiteBBC Radio Leeds

It broadcasts on FM, DAB, digital TV and via BBC Sounds from studios at St Peter's Square in Leeds.

According to RAJAR, the station has a weekly audience of 196,000 listeners and a 4.1% share as of March 2020.[1]

History


BBC Radio in Leeds Blue Plaque

The station began broadcasting at the Merrion Centre at 5.30 pm on 24 June 1968, becoming the 7th station to go on air. Initially a two-year experiment and co-funded by Leeds City Council, the station was only available in Leeds on a low powered 50 watt VHF transmitter in Meanwood Park, on 94.6 MHz.[2] Listening figures were very low as at that time, the majority of listeners still listened to radio via AM. In 1970 the station was made permanent and began broadcasting to all of West Yorkshire from the Holme Moss transmitting station and in 1972 the station started broadcasting on MW and branded itself as “the voice of West Yorkshire”.[3]

In 1974, BBC Radio Leeds, along with BBC Look North, moved to new studios in Woodhouse Lane, where it remained for thirty years until the studio was demolished in 2004.

Until the mid 1980s, the station was generally on air from breakfast until teatime, with any programming after 6 pm devoted to specialist music and magazines aimed at specialist interests and at ethnic minority communities. These programmes did not broadcast all year round. In August 1986, evening programmes began on a permanent basis when the station joined with the other three BBC stations in Yorkshire to provide an early evening service of specialist music programmes on weeknights from 6 pm to 7:30 pm, extending a year later to six days a week (Wednesday to Monday) between 7 pm and 9 pm with Tuesdays reserved for local sports coverage. May 1989 saw the launch of BBC Night Network which saw the BBC Local Radio stations in the North of England broadcasting networked programming every evening from 6:05 pm (6 pm at the weekend) and midnight, extending to 12:30 am in the early 1990s, and to 1 am by the end of that decade. During this period, the station was branded as “West Yorkshire’s FM BBC Radio Leeds.”

BBC Radio Leeds' main studios are at the BBC Yorkshire buildings on St. Peter's Square in Leeds.

In 2012, the station closed its offices and studios at the National Media Museum in Bradford, where the public was able to see programmes being broadcast. Radio Leeds also ran district newsrooms and contribution studios in Wakefield Town Hall, at Dean Clough in Halifax and at Huddersfield Town Hall. Four years later, the station reinstated an office and studio in Bradford, located in the Horton building at The University of Bradford.

BBC Radio Leeds was the home of BBC Local Radio’s networked evening show,[4] which was broadcast from the start of 2013 until local weeknight evening programming was reintroduced in autumn 2018.[5]

BBC Radio Bradford

On 7 December 2020, BBC Radio Bradford began broadcasting as a temporary service on the MW frequency each weekday between 6 am and 2 pm. The service provided eight hours of opt-out programming for listeners in Bradford and the surrounding area each weekday until March 2021.[6][7]

Transmitters


The main VHF/FM transmitter is located at the Holme Moss transmitting station on 92.4 MHz, covering most of West Yorkshire. Unusually, this transmitter also transmits neighbouring services Radio Manchester and Radio Sheffield from separate directional aerials on the mast.

Radio Leeds is also carried on the Wharfedale and Luddenden relay transmitters on 95.3 MHz, from Keighley on 102.7 and from Beecroft Hill (West Leeds) on 103.9 MHz to fill in areas which are screened from Holme Moss by the topology of the area. The medium wave service on 774 kHz is transmitted from Farnley (also known as Leeds MF).

Since 2001, BBC Radio Leeds has also been carried on the Bauer Leeds DAB multiplex, and since October 2002, on the Bradford & Huddersfield Multiplex. In addition, the station also broadcasts on Freeview TV channel 719 in the BBC Yorkshire region and streams online via BBC Sounds.

Programming


Local programming is produced and broadcast from the BBC's Leeds studios from 6am - 1am each day. The late show, airing from 10pm-1am, is simulcast with sister stations BBC Radio Humberside, BBC Radio Lincolnshire (weekdays), BBC Radio Sheffield and BBC Radio York.

During the station's downtime, BBC Radio Leeds simulcasts overnight programming from BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio London.

Sports coverage

A BBC Radio Leeds vehicle as seen at Headingley during a one-day cricket match in 2009.

BBC Radio Leeds broadcasts live sport. Football coverage includes Leeds United, Huddersfield Town and Bradford City. Rugby league coverage includes Leeds Rhinos, Bradford Bulls, Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Castleford Tigers. The station covers Yorkshire Carnegie in rugby union and Yorkshire County Cricket Club in cricket.

BBC Radio Leeds is the only station in West Yorkshire to provide live match commentary on Leeds United, Huddersfield Town and Bradford City home and away.

Presenters


Notable current presenters include:

Notable former presenters

Management


Managing Editor Sanjiv Buttoo

References


  1. "RAJAR". RAJAR. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  2. "VHF Broadcast Re-planning". Ofcom.org.uk. 8 January 2002. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  3. BBC Radio Leeds at 50
  4. "Mark Forrest to host BBC networked show". Radio Today. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  5. BBC Media Centre Tony Hall pledges a "renaissance" for BBC local radio as the service marks its 50th anniversary
  6. "BBC Radio Bradford service to launch in December". 26 November 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  7. "BBC Radio Bradford to broadcast on 774 kHz AM". 4 December 2020. Retrieved 4 December 2020.