A Brief History of Capital FM: UK's No.1 Music Station
blogDetail.by_admin | 28 Sep 2021
Capital FM is a UK-based radio station that has been broadcasting since the 1980s. It was founded as an alternative to BBC Radio 1 and became popular because of its focus on new music.
The first Capital FM broadcast took place on 26th July 1983, with DJ Rick Shaw presenting the breakfast show from a converted studio in Swindon.
Eras of Capital FM
The history of Capital FM can be divided into four eras:
- Early Years
- Classic Period
- Modern Era
- Digital Revolution
In this blog post, we will look at each era more closely and discuss some key points about what made them unique!
An extensive look at the history of Capital FM
Today we will look at the first era of Capital FM history, which covers 1983 to 2000. During this time period, Capital was broadcast on three different frequencies:
- Thames/Meridian Waterways (now Heart)
- Orchard FM
The first era
Capital's success during this time led them to be crowned 'UK Radio Station of the Year' from 1992 to 1998.
In 1994, they were granted a license for Orchard FM in South London, which was later rebranded as Capital South London in 2001. In 1998 they were also granted a license for Invicta-Seymour Park, although this frequency has since been moved to cover Crawley and Reigate/Redhill areas.
In 2000, Global Radio bought the station from GWR Group - now Heart of England (and Wales). Since then, Capital London has gone on to be the biggest radio station in London!
The second era
Capital FM's second era covers 2000-2003. This was when they were bought out by Global Radio - now Heart of England (and Wales).
The third era
The third era of Capital FM history began in 2003 and lasted until 2010. During this time, the station began broadcasting with its now-iconic jingle (known as 'The One'), and they also changed their name to Capital FM.
They focused on improving how music is played by DJs during shows - instead of playing two songs in a row from the same artist, they would play only one song every hour.
This helped them keep their audience engaged and excited about what they would hear next.
In 2010, Capital FM became the most downloaded radio station in London! Since then, it has gone on to become one of the biggest radio stations in Europe, with over 20 million listeners daily.
The fourth era
Capital's fourth era begins from 2010 onwards - since becoming one of the biggest radio stations in Europe.
What music does Capital FM play?
The main genres of music that the station broadcasts are pop, rock, and dance. There is a separate chart show on Sundays from 20:00 – 22:45 GMT, which plays all the current records in one long session with no adverts apart from an average of four commercial breaks per hour to allow local stations around Europe to take over for their own shows.
They currently have the following music stations:
- Capital Cymru
- Capital Liverpool
- Capital London
- Capital Manchester and Lancashire
- Capital Mid-Counties
- Capital Midlands
- Capital North East
- Capital North West and Wales
- Capital Scotland
- Capital South
- Capital South Wales
- Capital Yorkshire
- Capital tyne&wear
- Capital yorkshire south west
- Capital nottinghamshire
- Capital glasgow
- Capital edinburgh
- Capital xtra reloaded
- Capital xtra
- Capital birmingham
Listener-base of Capital FM
Capital FM has a large number of listeners in the UK. As of June 2018, it has recorded a whopping 7.4 million listeners. According to statistics, the average group of the listener base is between 15 and 34.
Capital FM was founded in 1973 and has since grown to be the largest commercial radio company in the UK.
The station broadcasts nationally on 104.8FM and DAB Digital Radio. Furthermore, you can listen to Capital FM's music by downloading the Radio FM application on your Android or iOS device.
So, you can tunein wherever life takes you. If music is your thing, then this blog post should have whet your appetite by giving you some insight into how one of Britain's most successful stations came about; but if it isn't, then feel free to keep scrolling because there are plenty more interesting blogs waiting for you.