Radio Tees was launched on Tuesday 24th June 1975 and broadcast on 257m Medium Wave and (later that year) 95 VHF in stereo. (The station should not be confused with BBC Tees). Les Ross performed the launch at 6am, playing the single ‘Everything’s Tuesday’ by Chairman of the Board, as the first record.
Marketing itself as ‘A Friend Who’s Always Near’ and ‘The Sound of Home’, Radio Tees offered unique and distinctive local output with a wide variety of programming and an emphasis on community involvement.
By the mid-1980s Radio Tees found itself in financial difficulties and in 1986 its parent company, Sound Broadcasting (Teesside) Ltd, was bought by Metropolitan Broadcasting (or the Metro Radio group as it was known). In November 1986 Radio Tees moved its FM frequency to 96.6 in a direct swap with BBC Radio Cleveland. The station was re-branded as TFM in January 1988 in an attempt to provide it with a more modern image. In April 1989 its 257 metres, 1170 kHz medium wave frequency was split and this became Great North Radio (GNR). In 1992 TFM vacated its old Dovecot Street studios and moved to new, purpose-built studios in Thornaby-on-Tees. In 1998 Metropolitan Broadcasting was taken over by EMAP; ‘TFM’ was renamed ‘96.6 TFM’ and brought into EMAP’s north of England Independent Local Radio Big City Network. In 2007, Emap renamed the station from 96.6 TFM, to TFM Radio. The station is now part of the Bauer Media Group (part of the Hits Radio network). It broadcasts to County Durham and North Yorkshire from studios in Newcastle upon Tyne.
We turn the clock back to December 1980 to hear a 30 minute excerpt from a Glenn Miller Special. The presenter is Peter Matthews who is probably best known for the programme ‘Silver Threads and Golden Needles’.