In 2005, after the radio group Swindon FM lobbied for a second FM Radio Licence to be granted for Swindon, Ofcom invited applications for the 12-year broadcasting licence for Swindon. The Local Radio Company applied for licence proposing a radio station called Now FM. After being awarded the licence, they renamed the station to Brunel FM, after Isambard Kingdom Brunel whose railway network had converted Swindon from a small village on the top of a hill, to an extremely large town. Brunel Radio was also the previous name for Classic Gold Radio (now DAB Station Gold) when Wiltshire Radio/GWR (now Heart Wiltshire) launched on FM. Brunel Radio was on the AM frequency however Brunel FM and Brunel Radio/Brunel Classic Gold have no connection other than name and where their studios are based.
For some weeks before its launch, the station was in test transmissions, allowing listeners a preview of the station, without presenters or commercials. The station launched at 10am on 2 September 2006 to the sound of many different people from around the coverage area wishing the station luck.
In October 2008, Brunel FM was sold again to South West Radio Ltd, following the collapse of Laser Broadcasting.
In August 2009 South West Radio itself collapsed and Brunel FM was acquired by YMC Ltd, along with Bath FM, 3TR FM, Quay West 107.4 and Quay West 102.4/100.8. YMC then ran the 5 licensed stations as a group, with local broadcasting throughout the day and some shared or "networked" programming over the weekend.
On 24 March 2010, the 5 YMC Ltd stations were closed by administrators after multiple refusals on the part of regulator OFCOM to transfer the licenses, following a number of financial issues at the stations following TLRC's sale.
Quaywest plus its 4 sister stations Brunel FM, 3TR FM, Bath FM and Quaywest 102.4 were eventually bought by Brett Orchard's Total Star Group which runs TotalStar 107.5 in Gloucestershire and all stations were rebranded as TotalStar.
Read more about this topic: Brunel FM
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