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|Broadcast area||Weymouth, Dorchester & Bridport|
|Frequency||FM: 96.0, 97.2 MHz|
|First air date||4 September 1993|
|Audience share||19.2% (September 2015, RAJAR)|
|Owner||The Local Radio Company
Wessex FM is a local radio station for the Weymouth, Dorchester and Bridport areas of Dorset. All content is broadcast from its studios in Dorchester. It broadcasts on 97.2FM in Weymouth and Dorchester (from Bincombe Hill transmitter), and on 96.0FM in Bridport (from Bridport Transmitter).
A group of local radio enthusiasts had been campaigning to have an Independent Local Radio (ILR) station in Dorset for some time, and eventually the Radio Authority issued the license early in 1993 (This was probably one of the last totally independent commercial radio stations in the country). Stephen Oates was appointed as Managing Director, with Roger Kennedy as Programme Manager.
Having found a suitable premises in the centre of Dorchester, studio construction began while Roger started recruiting the on-air team and deciding on the programme format. Roger also suggested the station's on-air name - Wessex FM - and the original strapline - "From the Heart of Dorset"
The station went on the air at 10am on 4 September 1993, Roger Kennedy presenting the first programme, with several special guests including veteran presenter Tony Blackburn.
Wessex FM now
With its very wide range of music, as well as lots of local feature content and regular Outside Broadcasts, the station proved very popular from the outset, becoming the Number 1 station in the area.
Current Managing Director Steve Bulley joined the station in 2006 as Regional Programme Controller covering 8 stations in the South West. Following the UKRD takeover he became MD and in October 2014 successfully moved the radio station after 21 years in Trinity Street to new purpose built premises on the outskirts of Dorchester. Poundbury House, Poundbury West Ind Estate, Dorchester, DT1 2PG.
It currently has the equal best radio reach percentage in England at 45% with Yorkshire coast radio, Both stations are owned by UKRD.
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