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Xfm London is a commercial radio station in the United Kingdommarker. The station is owned by Global Radio and broadcasts on 104.9 FM in Londonmarker, on digital radio via 30 DAB multiplexes across the country, Sky Digital, Tiscali TV and Virgin Media.

Xfm built its reputation on playing a wide range of alternative music, particularly indie, hip-hop, rock and a wide range of dance music, but since the merger between GWR Radio and Capital Radio Group, which led to the creation of its parent Gcap Media, the range of music it plays has narrowed markedly and the station now focuses primarily upon commercially successful indie.


The station's roots go back to 1989 and a pirate-turned-Restricted Service Licence London station called "Q102", which was famed for launching the career of BBC Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq.

Following further RSLs under the Xfm moniker, the station became full time on 1 September 1997, under the management/marketing directorship of Chris Parry and programming director/founder Sammy Jacob. During the following year the station played a diverse range of music from its studios in Charlotte Streetmarker, but mass appeal was thwarted by the lack of awareness due to a poor marketing campaign which was compounded by the deathmarker of Princess Diana the day before its launch.

It was taken over by the then Capital Radio group in 1998, and on 23 August of that year was abruptly closed down for four days (during which a test tape featuring mainstream soft-rock acts was looped). The station subsequently relaunched with a vastly more mainstream format, and a new advert featuring a friendly cartoon radio saying "Don't be afraid!" (Referring to the perceived inaccessibility of its old format). However, the soft-rock revamp did not prove a success, culminating in listener-led protest outside the Capital Radio studios. Listeners also lodged objections with the radio authority, which found Xfm to be acting in a manner contrary to its licence requirements, and a degree of alternative output was eventually restored, particularly through night-time playlists and cutting-edge specialist shows.

The station found itself in hot water again the following year. Since the take-over by Capital, the station had become more male-orientated and featured football coverage and "laddish" output. This came to an abrupt end when the Radio Authority fined Xfm £50,000 when then breakfast presenter Tom Binns joked about bestiality on air.

Capital Radio set about increasing Xfm's listening figures, recruiting famous DJs such as Zoë Ball, comedians Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, and former BBC Radio 1 presenter, the late Kevin Greening. This yielded good results for the station in a period in which it could boast growing listening figures and talent such as Zane Lowe and Christian O'Connell. Though the music was still tightly playlisted mix of popular indie and soft rock, not what the original station set out to do, and this continues to the present day.

In May 2007, as an attempt to cut costs, the parent company of XFM, GCap Media,now Global Radio, announced that they would be removing all presenters from the daytime (10am-4pm) lineup and replacing them with a jukebox based upon listener requests through their websites. This has since been reversed and new presenters have been hired and networked across the stations.

Proposed expansion of the Xfm Network

In recent years, Xfm has held 28-day Restricted Service Licence broadcasts in a number of British cities, including Manchestermarker, Birminghammarker, Cardiffmarker and Glasgowmarker. On 9 June 2005, the group was awarded a permanent FM broadcasting licence to serve the city of Manchestermarker as Xfm Manchester. This service commenced on 15 March 2006. On 4 January 2006, GCap Media relaunched its Central Scotland regional station Beat 106 as Xfm Scotland.

In 2000, Xfm London was added to a number of DAB multiplexes around the country, and in January 2006 it replaced The Storm on a number of local multiplexes, creating near-national coverage. It is reported that this 'national' version of Xfm London (known as Xfm UK) will have local content on it (e.g. News, Travel) increasing with time. However, on 11 February 2008 GCap Media announced that they would be selling the analogue license for the Manchester, Scotland and South Wales stations, retaining only XFM London.

This decision was made in an attempt to shore-up profits and concentrate on 'winning brands', calling the former nationalisation strategy into question. After this announcement, in early 2008, breakfast show host Alex Zane admitted on air that the future of the London station was also being reviewed, even making jokey references to perhaps being out of a job soon.

On 7 November 2008, Xfm Scotland became part of the Galaxy Network and was renamed Galaxy Scotland.

Current Show & Presenters

On 6 March 2008 an announcement was made to reverse the decision to remove daytime presenters. From Tuesday 25 March 2008 a new schedule restoring daytime schedules was put in place. .

The current schedule was launched on the 12 January 2009. Changes at this date included the returning Ian Camfield taking over the Afternoon Show, including Afternoon X List from Jo Good, and new signing Richard Skinner taking over the Morning Show from Rick Shaw. The times of the shows were also adjusted, with the morning show only becoming an 2 hour show (previously an 3 hour show) and the afternoon show becoming an 4 hour show (previously an 3 hour show). The weekend schedule was also adjusted at this time, with Rick Shaw moving to present the Weekend Morning Show on a Saturday and Sunday from 10 am - 2 pm. This led to other changes in the weekend schedule, such as Marsha Shandur Sunday Brunch ending, and the air times of Marc Haynes Certificate X changing (from 1 pm - 3 pm to 6 pm - 8 pm). Jo Good left the station during these changes.

XFM London airs 43 hours of exclusive London only programmes (per week), and at all other times, it airs XFM network programmes (produced for all the XFM Stations in the same London studios of XFM London). The local only London programme in XFM London are The No Nonsense Breakfast Show presented by Ian Camfield, the XFM Weekend Breakfast show presented by Phil Clifton and XFM weekday Drivetime Show presented by MTV and T4 presenter Dave Berry. These programmes air in place of the similar programme presented on XFM Manchester by Mike McClean, Clint Boon and Gareth Brooks


MondayAs below except: 12-4am - Shak

Tuesday- Thursday
Station 2-7am 7-11am 11-3pm 3-7pm 7-10pm 10-2am
Xfm London Richard Walters No Nonsense Breakfast with Ian Camfield Richard Skinner Dave Berry The Evening Show with Steve Harris Xposure with John Kennedy
Xfm Manchester Richard Walters No Nonsense Breakfast with Pete Mitchell Richard Skinner Clint Boon The Evening Show with Steve Harris Xposure with John Kennedy

FridayAs above except: 10-2am - The Remix with Eddy Temple-Morris

Station 2-7am 7-11am 11-3pm 3-6pm 6-10pm 10-2am
Xfm London Pete Donaldson Rick Shaw Rich Walters Saturdays with Steve Harris The Weekender with Marsha The Rock Show with Ian Camfield
Xfm Manchester Pete Donaldson Gareth Brooks Rich Walters Saturdays with Steve Harris The Weekender with Marsha The Rock Show with Ian Camfield

Station 2-7am 7-11am 11-3pm 3-6pm 6-8pm 8-9pm 9-10pm 10-12pm
Xfm London Pete Donaldson Rick Shaw Rich Walters Christian Nash Sunta Templeton The Live Hour The Sunday Service with Jonny Borrell Razor Cuts with Pete Mitchell
Xfm Manchester Pete Donaldson Gareth Brooks Rich Walters Christian Nash Sunta Templeton The Live Hour The Sunday Service with Johnny_Borrell Razor Cuts with Pete Mitchell


X-Ray was Xfm's short lived sister publication. Initially a free quarterly magazine, it later changed format and became commercially available. The magazine was issued monthly, in an unusually small format, now associated with "handbag size" women's magazines and came bundled with a CD demoing various signed and unsigned artists. After what seemed like a dispute with the publishers, the magazine went out of print, although Xfm still offer readers reassurance of its return on their website. [60533]

Notable Former Xfm presenters

See also

External links


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