Kiss 101

Kiss 101

name= Kiss West

airdate= September 6 2006
frequency= 101.0 FM MHz
97.2 FM MHz
DAB Digital Radio (South Wales, Severn Estuary)
share = 3.3%
share as of = March 2008
share source = []
area= South Wales & Severn Estuary
format= Dance
owner = Kiss Network, Bauer Radio
former names= Radio FTP, Galaxy Radio, Galaxy 101, Vibe FM (Severn Estuary), Vibe 101
website = []

Kiss 101 is a radio station in Bristol broadcasting out to South Wales and South West England playing dance music and R'n'B. It is part of a network of stations called the Kiss Network, which also includes Kiss 105-108 (East Anglia) and Kiss 100 (London) and is owned by Bauer Radio.


The station originally started broadcasting as a pirate radio station called "For The People" or "FTP", which secured a legal licence to broadcast to the city of Bristol in 1990 on 97.2 MHz FM. However after only a year on air, it was acquired by the Chiltern Radio Group and was renamed Galaxy 97.2. Chiltern's Paul Chantler then became the station's programme director and chief executive.

On 4th September 1994, the group won the UK's first regional licence and Bristol's Galaxy 97.2 became Galaxy 101, broadcasting to an area stretching from Swansea in Wales through Bristol and south into Somerset on 101.0 MHz FM. Since reception quality of the new service was poor in central Bristol, the station was permitted by the Radio Authority to retain its 97.2 transmitter, which beforehand was considered an entirely separate licence.

In October 1995, the station became part of Chrysalis plc, who invested £1 million in Galaxy 101.

Galaxy 101 was sold to GWR Group and Scottish Radio Holdings in 2002 and rebranded Vibe 101, but this purchase was subsequently vetoed by the Competition Commission over concerns regarding control of the Bristol radio advertising market. The Commission ordered GWR to sell their stake, which was bought by Scottish Radio Holdings later that year. In July 2005, Scottish Radio Holdings was in turn taken over by the Emap group, owners of the Kiss brand that Galaxy 102 and 105 were formerly licensed to use.

Vibe 101 (latterly broadcasting as Vibe FM) has been relaunched as Kiss 101, effective 07:00 on 6th September 2006 as Emap integrates the stations of the former SRH into its own portfolio. Kiss 101 launched simultaneously with the rebranding of sister station Vibe 105-108 to Kiss 105-108 and a relaunch of Kiss 100. All three new Kiss stations started to carry the new Kiss blue logo, and the core music genre was changed to focus more on Dance. Both Kiss 105-108 and Kiss 101 retained many shows presented by the DJs who previously presented under the Vibe brand, but now offer shows that are networked across all 3 stations at the same time.

Emap gained clearance from the UK communications regulator Ofcom to network programming between Kiss 101, Kiss 105-108 and Kiss 100. Emap have also pledged to significantly increase the amount of specialist programming on the former Vibe stations, with the minimum weekly amount of specialist output stated on the (former) Vibe licences more than doubling from 16 to 36 hours.

Emap sold its radio and consumer magazine businesses, including the Kiss stations, to Bauer Verlagsgruppe on 29th January 2008, as part of the complete breakup and sale of the company to various suitors. Consequently, Emap Radio now operates as Bauer Radio.

Bauer is now the fifth company to have owned "101" in barely six years.


Breakfast and drivetime are now the only weekday daytime shows remaining locally produced in Bristol. Matt Rogers & Caroline Cook have moved to breakfast with Ant Nichols from Galaxy fronting the new afternoon drive show. James Merritt presents the late morning show from Kiss 100 in London, with Nikki Elise, previously of Vibe 105-108 presenting afternoons from Kiss 105-108 in Bury St Edmunds. Early evenings between 7-9pm are networked with Kiss 105-108, presented by Will Cozens.

"Father" Reece Carter, the former Stikka Vikka from the Vibe FM breakfast show presents at weekends, while Big Al (House and Trance) and DJs Gerrard (Drum 'n' Bass) and Raheem (Urban, R'n'B and Hip-Hop) retain their specialist shows from Vibe FM although Raheem also presents a mainstream afternoon show on Sundays.

Nathan Thomson (of the former Vibe Weekender dance show) remains at the station, but is primarily involved in administrative affairs, and no longer does regular presenting or on-air DJing. However he occasionally stands in for other presenters in the event of absence. He still does some on-air DJing when filling in for Ant Nichols for "Kiss Fridays" in his absence.

As with the other two Kiss stations, the normal daytime playlist is abandoned, with all music for the entire duration of the 3-7pm show being dance music. This is mixed live by the DJ on turntables located at each station's studios, with most tracks being played being the unedited "club mix" versions of those played during regular daytime hours. The repertoire also extends to a broad range of dance tracks, both mainstream and more obscure, from the past decade and a half. As Nathan Thomson is himself a competent club DJ, he fits perfectly into the role of "Kiss Fridays" on the rare occasions that Ant isn't there to do it himself.

Every Friday from 7pm to 10pm, DJ Steve Smart goes in the mix with "Friday Night Kiss". He also presents "Floorfillers" on Saturdays nights and "Kisstory" on Sunday nights.


The station broadcasts on 101.0 MHz FM from the Mendip transmitter in Somerset at a power of 40 kW. This transmitter is, however, highly directional with the maximum permitted effective radiated power (ERP) being directed towards the North West to ensure delivery of a strong signal into South East Wales, particularly Cardiff, Newport and Bridgend. This also appears to be in order to penetrate the Welsh Valleys which lie immediately to the North of Cardiff, and to deliver signal towards settlements at the heads of the valleys such as Merthyr Tydfil.

In all other directions, Ofcom's published technical parameters indicate that the radiated power is as little as 400 watts, particularly to the east in order to minimise interference to Classic FM's Wrotham relay on the adjacent frequency of 100.9 MHz FM which serves much of South East England and is located in North Western Kent.

Kiss 101 also uses a filler transmitter for much of Bristol and the immediately surrounding area on 97.2 MHz FM at a power of 200 W, mixed polarisation, located on the concrete communications tower at Pur Down. This is situated immediately to the West of the M32 motorway, towards the north of the city. The same site is also used by Star 107.2 for their only transmitter. The transmitter broadcasts on the frequency originally used by the station before it won the regional Severn Estuary licence in 1994 and thus clearance to also transmit on 101.0 from Mendip. Prior to this award, the station served Bristol only, with a coverage area no larger than that of Star 107.2.

It can be heard as far north as Droitwich in Worcestershire, as far west as Swansea, South Wales, as far South as Bournemouth, Dorset, and as far South West as Okehampton, Devon, and as far east as Membury Services on the M4 before the signal dies out although it is faintly audible on a good radio as far afield as Eastern Cornwall, Western Berkshire and, in places, with excellent reception, on the M42 to the South East of Birmingham. It has good-to-excellent reception in places in Gloucester and surrounding areas. It can be heard up to just before Strensham Services on the M5 just west of Birmingham

It is also carried on DAB on the MXR Severn Estuary multiplex.

ee also

*Kiss Network
*Kiss 100 London
*Kiss 105-108
*Kiss TV

External links

* [ Kiss 101 West]
* [ Kiss 101 MySpace page]
* [ Kiss 101 Bebo page]
* [ Vibe 101 to become Kiss 101]
* [ DontStopVibe - Fansite detailing information regarding the rebrand]

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