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Saturday, 28th September 2002 (Updated 10 July 2011)
Cities rise to future Vibe

Loss-making regional dance music station Galaxy 101 has been sold to Vibe Radio Services Ltd for GBP12.5 million, following a station-swapping deal that has seen Chrysalis Radio acquire London News Radio for GBP23.5 million.

Chrysalis Radio, owners of the regional dance and r&b station serving South Wales and the West of England, have decided to sell the station to "realise a significant profit on [their] weakest asset". The station's new owners, which include GWR Group plc and Scottish Radio Holdings, will re-brand the service as Vibe FM.

July 2011 update: Looking for Galaxy 101 or Vibe FM? The station is now Kiss 101

Galaxy 101 logo
Out There - but not for much longer: Galaxy 101 has been sold off
Vibe FM logo
Core Control logo
Kam and Sally left Galaxy in the summer to present The Mix's CoreControl show
The London deal gives Chrysalis Radio an opportunity to control fully the 24-hour rolling news-and-talk services, currently broadcasting as ITN News Direct 97.3FM and LBC 1152AM. The company has announced its intention to utilise the LBC brand on both frequencies, with a talk-and-entertainment service on FM and the present rolling news service switching to mediumwave.

Kam Kelly and Sally Bailey, Galaxy 101's former breakfast show presenters, defected to GWR Group to present the Mix-networked CoreControl countdown show in the Summer. Under current broadcasting guidelines, GWR Group plc cannot own more than two FM radio stations serving one market. Although Vibe FM venture Vibe Radio Services Limited gives 51pc of ownership to Scottish Radio Holdings and 49pc to GWR Group plc, it is understood GWR hold the option of acquiring the remainder of the company. They are currently prevented from doing so as Vibe FM also broadcasts to the East Anglian region, in which overlapping markets exist: GWR Group plc operate Q103, Broadland 102 and SGR in Vibe's transmission area.

Galaxy 101's local-radio ancestor, FTP (For The People) Radio 97.2 launched in 1990, broadcasting solely to Bristol. However, after just one year of transmission, it was bought up by the Chiltern Radio Group who relaunched it as Galaxy Radio 97.2. Later, the Group won the regional franchise for South Wales and The West and relaunched the station as Galaxy 101 in 1994. For several years, the station was owned and operated by Chrysalis Radio, following a short period of ownership by GWR Group plc while they found a new owner for the station (at the time, no radio group was permitted to own more than one FM station in an overlapping area, and GWR Group had just bought out Chiltern Radio Group, so was obliged to sell Galaxy). The 97.2FM transmitter is retained, and offers better reception in the city than 101FM. The Galaxy brand can be heard across many regions of England.

MXR Digital, a consortium of companies including Chrysalis Radio that operates the regional DAB digital radio multiplex serving South Wales and the West of England, currently broadcast Galaxy 101 on DAB digital radio. It is not yet known whether an agreement will be made between Vibe FM and MXR to ensure a dance music service remains on the multiplex.

News of the station's disposal follows reports that Chrysalis Radio will publish a "Metro"-style paper to promote its other Galaxy stations in Birmingham, Yorkshire, Manchester and the North-East of England. The new paper, titled "Out There" will combine entertainment news with local infomation.

Related links:
latest news story (30th December 2002) about Vibe 101, on this website.
Vibe 101 is now Kiss 101, news story, on this website. audio memories from Galaxy 101, on this website.
Vibe FM website
Galaxy 101 website promo banner