Key 103 to become Hits Radio as part of major rebrand

Simon Austin's picture
by Simon Austin
Gemma Atkinson

Manchester radio station Key 103 is to become Hits Radio and broadcast nationwide as part of a multi-million pound rebrand from owners Bauer Radio.

The station will evolve into a national commercial digital radio station from June 4th, with hosts Gethin Jones, Gemma Atkinson and Dave Vitty. 

Hits Radio will sit alongside Absolute Radio, Magic and KISS to become Bauer Radio’s fourth national radio brand. Key 103 will also launch a localised version: Hits Radio Manchester. This will provide local news, traffic and travel and information, such as school closures and emergencies.

Dee Ford, Group Managing Director of Bauer Radio, said: “Hits Radio has been informed by audience insight, which combined with our talented programming instinct unearthed a need for a fresh, exciting national radio brand. 

“This family focused and highly attractive audience seek a brilliant alternative to what is currently on offer, the new Hits Radio station and expanded Hits Radio Network will offer a simple and effective way for commercial partners to reach them.”

Atkinson, who was runner-up on Strictly Come Dancing last year, is a native of Bury and currently co-hosts the breakfast show on Key 103.  Jones, who has presented Blue Peter, Daybreak and Strictly: It Takes Two, returns to Manchester after attending University in the city. 

Vitty also attended college in Greater Manchester before working on the Chris Moyles Show on Radio 1, where he was known as ‘Comedy Dave.’