Pirate FM

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Pirate FM
Broadcast area Cornwall
Branding "Cornwall's Pirate FM"
Frequency 102.2 MHz, 102.8 MHz
Format Hot AC
Audience share 12.2% (September 2013, [1])
Owner UKRD Group

Pirate FM is one of the Independent Local Radio stations for Cornwall, playing a range of music from the 1960s to the present day. The station is based at the UKRD Group headquarters in Redruth.


The station was launched in 1992 under the name of Pirate FM 102 with the voice of breakfast presenter Roger Day (a well-known ex-pirate DJ from Radio Caroline and Radio North Sea International). The station's launch Chief Executive was Mike Powell who specified digital technology so advanced at the time that it was featured on the BBC science programme, Tomorrow's World.

Much of the early success of the station was due to the technical expertise of the first managing director Richard Lawley, who was also a graduate electronic engineer. He was succeeded by the station's initial sales director Joseph Swain. The station has also won numerous awards including 'Station of the Year' (in the 300,000 to 1 million TSA category) at the 2003 Sony Radio Academy awards.

In September 2005, the station's branding changed from The Southwest's Pirate FM to Cornwall's Pirate FM. Listenership appears to have increased in Cornwall following the move, however it reduced their audience in West Devon (including Plymouth, where Pirate FM had a separate office and studio prior to the rebrand). From "Quarter 4" 2006 Pirate FM's survey area (TSA) was reduced by removing Plymouth & most of West Devon, thus reducing the potential audience significantly but focusing on the core Cornish audience. Pirate FM remains as the number one station by audience reach despite the increased competition.

The Pirate Trust is the charitable arm of Pirate FM that raises thousands of pounds yearly for good causes in Cornwall with their 'Cornwall in Need Appeal'. Yearly fundraisers include the 'Garden Party' and the all-day on-air and online auction known as 'Radiothon'. Radiothon [2007][2] and Radiothon [2008][3] were both run in collaboration with free classifieds website itsmymarket.com

News service

Pirate FM produces local news bulletins from its Redruth studios between 6am and 6pm on weekdays and at weekends and bank holidays. Bulletins are broadcast every hour, on the hour with headlines on weekdays at 6.30am, 7.30am, 8.30am and 5.30pm.

It became one of the first radio stations in the country to launch video news bulletins, distributed online and produced every weekday.

National news bulletins from Sky News Radio in London are broadcast on the hour at all other times.

Pirate 2

Pirate 2 DAB launched on 4 August 2014.

The station airs a series of weekly talk shows: The Business Hub (Mondays, 7pm), the Health and Wellbeing Show (Tuesdays, 7pm), the Education and Training Show (Wednesdays, 7pm), the Farming Show (Thursdays, 7pm), the Homes and Gardens Show (Fridays, 7pm), the Youth Show (Saturdays, 4pm).

Transmission Details

Pirate FM's two transmitters broadcast separate opt-outs for news bulletins, travel information and advertising. The Redruth transmitter on 102.8 MHz FM includes content for the mid and west of the county of Cornwall, and the Caradon Hill transmitter (on 102.2 MHz FM) covers the East and North of the county, as well as Plymouth and West Devon.


Pirate FM has 2 current on air straplines. "Real Music Variety" and "Love Cornwall Love Pirate FM".

Its current imaging voiceovers are Natalie Miller and Guy Harris. Its jingle package is a creation of Wise Buddah

Pirate FM's original jingles were sung by JAM productions, Dallas in 1992, which included the famous "Tamar Bridges" Cornwall theme tune, which used to be played after midnight and before 6am every day. That image song was a cut from a package called "Yours Truly". The original Pirate FM jingle package was a selection of cuts from two packages originally created for Detroit's Q95.5. The packages were Q Cuts and Right On Q. In addition, Pirate FM also bought a couple of cuts from the Turbo Z package originally produced for Z100 in New York.

In the late 1990s, Pirate FM returned to JAM to update their package. That time, they used cuts from the Hi Qume, Uni-Que and Quick Q's packages produced for Detroit's Q95.5, as well as a couple of cuts from Breakthrough, which JAM produced for WPJL/Power 95.5 in New York.

A new jingle package was first aired in December 2005, made by jingle production company IQ Beats. It was a re-recording of a previous package made for Heart 106.2 in London.

Previous Pirate FM straplines are "More music for Cornwall", "Real music variety", "Better variety, more music", "The world's greatest music", "Greatest memories, latest hits" and "The latest technology, and the best records too".


Pirate FM was one of the two stations that applied for the licence to serve Plymouth after the licence was handed back by Macquarie's Diamond FM. The UKRD plan to extend Pirate's service under the name Plymouth's Pirate FM lost out to Radio Plymouth.[1]


External links