Stafford FM is changing its name

The news of the name change was announced this morning.

A decision has been taken to change the name of Stafford's only local radio station.

After 23 years on air, the local radio station serving Staffordshire's county town is switching names in the coming months.

The yet to be revealed name change is part of a wider expansion plan and will allow the broadcaster to face the challenges ahead with the ever evolving digital era.

Stafford FM took to the air in 2001 as a 28 day RSL (Restricted Services Licence), conducting 4 temporary broadcasts from studios in Gaol Mews before being rested by the team in 2004. 

Regulatory changes brought some of the original team back together in 2011 to launch an online only radio station from studios on Marston Road before the community-led organisation won a full time FM license in 2014.

The full time FM service went 'live' on Saturday 25th April 2015 broadcasting from studios on Mount Street in Stafford town centre. Since then, the station has moved premises once more to the recently purchased Stafford Borough Council owned building on Crabbery Street.

Stafford FM haven't yet said what the name change will be or when it will happen but it's expected that it will be sooner rather than later.

Programme Director, Stu Haycock, commented:

"It makes sense for us to prepare for the changing radio landscape.

We have recently seen the decimation of local radio services with the announcement that heritage names such as Signal 1 will be disappearing in April. The local area has also seen a huge reduction in local programming with the recent changes at BBC Radio Stoke.

We want to make Stone, Eccleshall and Penkridge apart of our family."

The announcement follows the news that Bauer-owned Signal 1 is changing to Hits Radio from April with all their programming being shifted outside the broadcast area. 

Stu continued: 

"We will still be the same radio station providing the area with locally focused programming, but we'll have a new name."

Stafford FM's Founder, and Mid Morning presenter, Ray Crowther, also said:

"We have a proud history and although some will ask why, we have to embrace the wider community and the digital age. Whilst we believe that FM will be around for a long time, we recognise that we have to grow and evolve.

If we are to cater for other pockets of our area we cannot be called Stafford FM in places such as Stone. It just doesn't work."

Stu Haycock added:

"Nothing is forever, but we recognise the vacuum that has been left behind with the recent deregulation in commercial radio and the widespread introduction across the UK of quasi-national commercial radio brands popping.

The change will better prepare us for future."

The date for the proposed name change is set to be announced in the coming weeks.


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