Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 16:13 UK

Axe to fall on local radio names

Jamie Theakston
Jamie Theakston presents the breafast show on Heart in London

Nearly 30 local radio stations are to be re-named Heart as part of a shake-up by their owner.

Twenty-eight stations across the UK including Invicta in Kent, GWR in Bristol and Severn Sound in Gloucester will be re-branded by Global Radio.

The new Heart stations will keep their own breakfast and drivetime shows, but the rest of the content will be syndicated across the entire network.

The changes will take place over the next 12 to 18 months.

Three stations in London, the West Midlands and the East Midlands currently make up the Heart network.

Other local station names to get the chop include Chiltern Radio, Coast in north Wales, Gemini FM in Torquay and Horizon Radio in Milton Keynes.

The change is designed to make it easier to sell more advertising on a national level and to attract more listeners to the stations.

Global Radio has predicted the new Heart network will reach about six million adult listeners per week, mostly across the southern half of the UK.

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