York radio station sold to TV company – and it gets a new name

Chris Mardsen and Dougie Weake, founders of Vale Radio. Photograph: Nigel Holland
26 May 2017 @ 9.00 pm
| Business

York’s community station Vale Radio has been sold to a media group, it has been announced.

It has become part of the London-based View TV Group in a deal for an undisclosed sum. The same company previously bought Darlington-based Star Radio North East.

Since its launch in 2014 Vale has broadcast from Haxby Memorial Hall, but it will soon be on the move.

The group says it will relaunch Vale in new studios at Clifton Moor, and re-name it in line with the Star brand.

Under its plans, the revamped station will feature “new music and a focus on specialist genre based programming which will complement the Star Network in Yorkshire”.

‘Make it a viable proposition’

CEO Jamie Branson said: “We are dedicated to making great radio, and the Vale Online is a great example of how radio has the potential to engage with the community at every level.

“We intend to expand on that potential and give it the tools and investment it needs to make it a viable proposition.”

Begun as Vale Online, it has styled itself as a not-for-profit company, with unpaid presenters and a strong commitment to charitable causes and community events.

YorkMix understands that negotiations to pay presenters will now begin before the station returns to the airwaves.

One of the things that made it so attractive to the View TV Group is it acquired a DAB licence to broadcast across the digital network in October 2015.

View is looking to boost its DAB presence, announcing plans to put Star Radio North East on the platform.

New voices

Broadcasters Chris Marsden (left) and Dougie Weake celebrate the launch of Vale Radio DAB services at the Memorial Hall, Haxby. Photographs: Nigel Holland

Jamie Branson has been appointed to the Vale board, joining the three existing directors – Chris Marsden, Dougie Weake and David Beal.

Chris posted this on his Facebook page:

Just to let you know, great things are happening within the next few weeks.

Thank you to everybody at Vale Radio: presenters, background peeps, partners, listeners and contributors.

I’m still very much part of overseeing what happens next and do expect to hear your favourite presenters you’ve grown to know, love and be part of your daily life… but also a new voice or two from the past.

Here’s to the next few years across North Yorkshire… bigger and better than before