StrayFM getting ready
Will Smith and Nick Hancock from StrayFM

StrayFM to rebrand to “Greatest Hits Radio” following Bauer Media Audio takeover

27 May 2020

Bauer Media has today announced that the North Yorkshire-based radio stations they acquired in 2019 will join their Hits Radio Brand Network, creating the UK’s largest commercial radio network.

The integration will mean that stations including Minster FM, Stray FM and Yorkshire Coast Radio will rebrand as Greatest Hits Radio, delivering the optimum mix of local content that listeners highly value alongside content from nationally known presenters.

These changes do unfortunately mean that some roles will be put into consultation and freelance contracts reviewed. Bauer Media say they are fully committed to supporting all affected employees throughout this period and will be working closely with them over the months ahead.

A period of consultation with employees potentially affected will commence today.

For advertisers, the move will provide significant scale whilst also retaining local advertising windows for clients.

Where possible, stations who previously were only accessible via FM or AM radio will secure a multi-platform digital future, with access to DAB digital radio. This is a crucial move in a radio market which is seeing a significant shift towards consumption on digital platforms and allows extended coverage for audiences.

Dee Ford CBE, Group Managing Director Radio, Bauer Radio comments:

Audiences love and trust radio. Expanding the Hits Radio Brand Network will ensure listeners to these acquired stations benefit from multi-platform digital distribution meaning they can continue to broadcast in an increasingly competitive, digital and voice-activated world. This ensures the provision of local news and information, traffic and travel as well as access for advertisers to highly valued audiences.

Hits Radio Brand Network comprises:

  • Hits Radio – delivering a music proposition which is a soundtrack of the biggest hits and nostalgic throwback tracks and local breakfast shows.
  • Greatest Hits Radio – offering classic hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s alongside regional drive time and networked breakfast shows.
  • Country Hits Radio – playing the very best country pop music.

Graham Bryce, Group Managing Director – Hits Radio Network Brand, said:

We are committed to ensuring the future of radio in local markets and serving the needs of our listeners and advertisers. However, our top priority right now will be to support those affected through this period.

Who is Bauer Media Audio ?

Bauer Media Audio is a digital commercial broadcaster and audio operator. The company reaches over twenty-six million listeners daily through broadcast radio, online services, and podcasts. Spanning 7 countries – the UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Poland and Slovakia, Bauer Media Audio owns brands including KISS, Mix Megapol, Absolute Radio, Radio Norge, Radio Expres, Radio Nova, Radio 100 and RMF


  1. Terrible news, Stray FM were always on it and had a truly local feel. Now just swallowed up into some enormous amorphous blob of a media empire. I doubt I will be listening in future.

  2. Yes, must accept that I share the view of others in that the station just lost its sense of identity.

  3. Sad news I always have my radio on Stray FM and like hearing about local businesses and things that are going on in the area. The presenters are local and really get themselves out and about in the community. It’s a great local station for local people it will be sadly missed.

  4. Stray fm will be missed and what will happen to the presenters
    Will nick hancock will smith and Pete Egerton be made redundant.
    We should petion to keep our local radio
    Jim knarsborough

  5. Absolutely gutted that this unique and personal and very local station is leaving. Why Why change a great recipe? So sad. Will miss the way things were. Good bye Stray.

  6. Absolutely gutted to hear about this. Nick Hancock is one of the best radio presenters in the country. I’ll be boycotting the new version. It’s a travesty.

  7. Can’t believe Harrogate and surrounding areas have lost Stray FM. Who on earth thought that was a good idea???

  8. Yes i too sadly agree. Stray FM was our local radio station with lively & informative presenters who always engaged with the community. Nick Hancock first thing really made me laugh great guy! I will not be tuning in anymore. Why change a good thing?

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