The Wave 96.4 FM

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96.4 The Wave
File:The Wave 96.4 FM Logo.png
City of license Swansea
Broadcast area Swansea
Neath Port Talbot[1]
Branding 96.4 FM The Wave
Slogan Today's Best Mix
Frequency 96.4 MHz, DAB, Online
First air date 30 September 1974
(as Swansea Sound)
30 September 1995
(as Sound Wave FM)
Format Contemporary hit radio
Audience share 12.1% (March 2012, [1])
Owner UTV Radio
Sister stations Swansea Sound
Website The Wave

96.4 The Wave is a British independent local radio station that serves the Swansea, Llanelli, Neath and Port Talbot areas of South Wales.[1] The station is owned by UTV Radio and mainly broadcasts chart and contemporary music, alongside news and local information, for an audience of under 40s.[2]


Early years

Initially broadcasting as Swansea Sound, the station split into two separate services on 30 September 1995, creating a new music-led station called 96.4 Sound Wave on 96.4 FM, while Swansea Sound continued to broadcast on 1170 AM. The separate stations are based at studios in Gorseinon, from where Swansea Sound began broadcasting in September 1974. In 1998, the FM station changed its name to The Wave, due to some listeners having inexplicably refer to it as "Swansea Soundwave".[3][4]


The Wave's former radio logo from 2003.

The Wave continued providing a local service to the Swansea area. In 2002, The Radio Authority announced plans for a Swansea DAB multiplex to form, allowing The Wave to broadcast on a digital platform under the format of contemporary hit radio.[5] 2003 saw the station adding the South Wales' Hit Music tagline as their slogan[6] as well as issuing out a highly popular competition called A Week On Wheels, which returned the following year as a promotion.[7]

In January 2004, The Wave was officially launched on the new DAB multiplex.[8] The Wave came under management of UTV Radio in 2005, when the company acquired The Wireless Group, the owner of the station in the early 2000s.[9] The station had a tradition of organising Party in the Park in Singleton Park, Swansea for many years, but due to the financial cost, the event ended in 2006.[10] Instead, The Wave began a partnership with Escape into the Park, a similar music event involving mostly contemporary dance music.[11] In 2008, The Wave began using the marketing brand You Love It, We Play It which was processed by UTV Radio.[12] A year later, the station switched to the Today's Best Mix strapline.[13]


The Wave and Swansea Sound were involved in UTV Media's Wales Live scheme, an aborted attempt to provide a service designed to support local news through radio, television and online mediums. The project was set to launch by October 2010, but ultimately failed.[14]

The Wave received an updated logo design which was made into a car sticker, with the inclusion of "DAB and Online" displayed alongside "96.4 FM" on the bottom of the logo. The Wave, along with other local commercial radio stations within the UK, became a part of the Radioplayer UK project, an internet service formed by the BBC, Global Radio and the Guardian Media Group that supplies a listen live feed of UK radio stations across the world.[15][16]

Coverage area

The station's official Ofcom transmitted service area (TSA) covers Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot and Llanelli and the surrounding areas.[17]

Music policy

The Wave airs a Top 40-leaning mix of music from a number of styles and genres within pop, urban, rock and dance, therefore making up contemporary hit radio.[18] This format, specified by media regulator Ofcom, is formed mainly by current chart and contemporary hits, along with an optional 'spice' of older music.[19] The Wave broadcasts the network chart show The Vodafone Big Top 40, as well as a local chart show, The Wave Chart Show, on Saturday mornings.

Ofcom describes the format of The Wave as "a music and information station – mainly chart and contemporary but may include older tracks".[20]


Local programming is produced and broadcast from The Wave's Gowerton studios from 6am-7pm on weekdays, 6am-6pm on Saturdays and 8am-12pm on Sundays. Networked programming originates from UTV's Signal Radio studios in Stoke-on-Trent. The Vodafone Big Top 40 is produced by Global Radio at its Capital studios in London for broadcast on 145 commercial radio stations in the UK.

The station's local presenters include Andy 'Badger' Miles and Claire Scott (weekday breakfast), Phil Hoyles and Sian 'Siany' Martin (The Home Run).[21]


The Wave broadcasts local news bulletins hourly from 6am to 6pm on weekdays and from 8am to 12pm on weekends. Headlines are broadcast on the half hour during weekday breakfast and drivetime shows.[22]

The station also simulcasts hourly Sky News Radio bulletins at all other times.

Station imaging

The Wave's current jingle set is provided by Music 4, who also produce the jingles for the rest of the UTV Network and provided the imaging for The Wave in June 2000.[23][24] The production creator is Mark Powell who is also the Drive Show presenter.[25][26] The main voice overs on The Wave are Dan Harper and Richard Cope, who are used to shape the upbeat imaging, which contains the slogan today's best mix, the station ID and the feature or show.[27][28]


The Wave have produced various events throughout the local area. Notable events include the Local Hero Awards, where The Wave rewards local people for "making a difference" to the area; the Cash for Kids Appeal, which consists of an on-air auction; and the Style Awards.[2] An events guide is also broadcast on The Wave, known as The Lowdown.[29]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Local Radio Licence: Coverage Brief and Specification (Swansea). Ofcom. 1994. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Public File
  3. "Details of 1998 Name Change" (PDF). Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  4. "States both in same studios, as well as details". Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  5. "2002 – The Wave on DAB". 13 December 2002. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  6. [See Logo in 2000s section for proof]
  7. "Week on Wheels". 12 October 2003. Archived from the original on 14 December 2003. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  8. "DAB 2004". 31 January 2004. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  9. UTV 2005 Takeover Archived 21 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "PITP". 19 June 2005. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  11. "Escape into the Park comes under Swansea Bay festival, therefore, the event is sponsored by The Wave 96.4". 2 June 2006. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  12. "UTV Marketing/Format". Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  13. "New Style 09". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  14. "The Wave and Swansea Sound mentioned in UTV press release". 9 December 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  15. "Radioplayer UK – About". Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  16. "Search 96.4 FM The Wave – Radioplayer UK". Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  18. "CHR Format". Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  19. "OFCOM License to all CHR station as well as all format explained". Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  20. "The Wave 96.4 OFCOM (see "View Station Format")". Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  21. The Wave - On Air
  22. The Wave public file
  23. "Vibe Imaging / Music 4 Wave". Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  24. "New jingles launch on UTV local stations". Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  25. "Mark Powell Imaging". Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  26. "Mark Powell Drive Show". Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  27. "Info on Dan Harper UTV VO and 'Upbeat' Style". 24 August 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  28. "The Wave 96.4 FM Forum". Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  29. "Events Lowdon on Website". Retrieved 20 November 2011. 

External links