Wiltshire Publications

Issue 458 – 3TR stops broadcasting as owners go into administration

3TR FM, the local commercial radio station serving Westbury, Warminster and Frome shut down suddenly on Wednesday 25th March.

Staff at the station’s Warminster office were told at 5.00pm that the station would be closing down at 5.30pm and that they were being made redundant. Nine people, a mixture of permanent and freelance staff, have lost their jobs.
The station has been taken over by Cheltenham-based TotalStar Radio and it is understood that broadcasting could start again soon, but without the well-known local presenters.
A 3TR FM member of staff, who did not want to be named, told White Horse News, “It was a shock. We had heard talk of administration, and in my time at 3TR stable would not be the word I would use, but we didn’t think talks were this advanced. It was very sudden.”
At the time of writing the station was broadcasting a continuous loop of music and the 3TR FM website was offline.
Lorraine Banks, TotalStar Radio sales director said, “At this stage we have taken control of the assets. We do intend to start broadcasting again but we have nothing confirmed with the licences with Ofcom. All of our plans with regard to broadcasting location and team would depend on Ofcom approval.”
3TR’s former owner, Your Media Communications Group (YMCG), has been placed into administration.
The media regulator Ofcom had refused to allow YMCG to take control of the station’s licence after it took control of the group of stations last year, following the previous owners, South West Radio, going into administration.
Four other radio stations owned by YMCG also closed down at the same time; Brunel FM, Bath FM and two QuayWest stations.
Writing on the 3TR FM Facebook group, former presenter Ray King said, “Saying goodbye on air at 5.30 was quite possibly the hardest thing I have had to do in my 15 years of broadcasting. It was a pleasure to be working at 3TR FM from launch day [in 2001] and along with the whole team I would like to pass on my thanks to every single one of them for their hard work and yourselves for being loyal listeners.”