Radio Tees in 1979 

16 December 2017

Radio Tees・24 June 1975

Radio Tees, 74 Dovecot Street, STOCKTON-ON-TEES, Cleveland TS18 1IL
Tel: 0642 615111

Directors J B Robertson (Chairman); J R F Bradford (Managing Director); M L Cohen; The Lord Crathorne; R Crosthwaite; M A Heagney; P A Hill-Walker; E S Hoare; M E Humphrey; T W J Jackson; Mrs M Jeffery; Mrs R Mackenzie; PS Paine; H Whitehead; TRC Willis.

Executives Michael Best (News Editor); Jeffrey Blood (Financial Controller); D Cline (Commercial Producer); Bob Hopton (Programme Controller); Chas Kennedy (Chief Engineer); Russ Stuart (Sales Controller).

IBA Local Advisory Committee for Independent Local Radio in Teesside Mrs E Keenan (Chairman); Mrs M Chambers; Cllr J C Herbert; G Hunter; C Kenyon; Miss C Parkin; Cllr Mrs Pease; P Rowbotham.

Out and about in an attractive way with the Radio Tees Fun Bus.

‘The friendly local’ is a phrase usually associated with a quiet pint in your local pub, but in the Radio Tees transmission area it has another meaning.

Since June 1975 Radio Tees has tried very hard to establish a friendly one to one relationship with its audience. The degree of success can be measured in a recent J1CRAR survey where the total number of listening hours is higher than ever before with well over half a million people listening regularly each week.

Radio Tees is really pleased with its tag ‘the friendly local’ and irrespective of location, whether it be Cleveland, North Yorkshire or South Durham, the name of Radio Tees is known throughout the area. This image has not simply appeared out of nowhere, it has had to be earned, and the business of entertaining and informing is approached with enthusiasm and professional dedication by everyone at Radio Tees. Teamwork is the key word in a professional radio station – presenters, engineers, administration staff and advertising personnel all play an essential part in making sure that Radio Tees maintains its popularity.

The music format is varied and designed to reflect the tastes of the local population. Current chart hits are an accurate reflection of local tastes as the charts are compiled by local sales data available through an independent source for the North East area. Variety of music has been maintained with special attention to classical, folk, jazz and country tastes. A prime example of such variety was a special programme on the Newport Jazz Festival held in Middlesbrough – a prestigious event of worldwide importance to jazz lovers. Another example: a special folk event when the famous Spinners group were brought to Hartlepool for an open air concert in front of thousands of people, and it was due to the financial support made available from Radio Tees that such an event was possible.

In order to facilitate events such as those outlined above, Radio Tees has acquired a caravan which, after extensive alterations and the fitting of necessary equipment, is available for outside broadcasts and recordings. The news cars are fitted with radio telephones which improves the speed of communication far beyond previous levels.

Sports coverage, so important in the Teesside area, is extensive with up-to-the-minute news of events as they happen, plus a special five-hour sports programme on Saturday afternoons.

‘Phone-ins’ have long been a feature of local radio and Radio Tees has maintained this facility for local people to air their views on a variety of topics; from a consultant offering advice on cosmetic queries to the spotlight being thrown on the latest subject in the political arena.

All such programmes emphasise the local nature of the station’s output, but there is one achievement in the last year which stands out above all others, and that is the decision to establish 24-hour broadcasting almost a full year ahead of schedule. This has been one of the ambitions of Radio Tees since its birth in 1975. For the very first time people within the transmission area can now tune in to a local radio station around the clock. A facility which has already proven itself within a few months of operation.

This added facility emphasises the desire of Radio Tees to involve itself totally within the community and develop this relationship to the fullest extent.

IBA Transmitters
VHF Transmitter
(FM with stereo capability)
Bilsdale (NGR: SE 553 962)
95.0 MHz
Max erp 2 kW
Circular polarisation
Aerial ht. 2144ft aod

MF Transmitter
(medium wave, mono only)
Nr. Stockton (NGR: NZ 420 218)
257 m (1170 kHz)
Transmitter power 0.5 kW
(MF omnidirectional aerial)

Air Date: 24.6.75

VHF COVERAGE. The map shows the area within which most listeners should obtain satisfactory mono reception on VHF and with adequate aerials, good stereo reception. Medium wave coverage is designed as far as possible to match VHF.

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6 responses to this article

Joanne Gray 18 December 2017 at 6:06 pm

Growing up in Hartlepool, Radio Tees was my local radio station. I can remember getting ready for school and eating breakfast to the welcoming tones of “Me” Mark Page on the breakfast show weekday mornings – with his tales about his “mate” Dennis of the Boro and phone in competition the Wednesday Wubble (a song from the charts played at varying speeds to make it very hard to recognise). Smoggies and Monkey Hangers alike were bereft when Mark made his disastrous move to Radio One where his chirpy Teesside personality (and accent) did not go down well. Radio Tees became TFM in the 90s and is now I believe part of the Magic Radio network (I could be wrong, I haven’t tuned in since the 90s). I’d love to know how “Me” Mark Page is and what he’s up to now.

Arthur Vasey 8 January 2018 at 2:09 pm

Mark Page also enjoyed a brief spell on Radio Luxembourg – very brief – as well – also did programmes on BFBS Germany as well, for the British Forces posted over there – he also set up Garrison Radio, broadcasting initially to the soldiers in Catterick Garrison and it was extended to cover Aldershot – I last heard Mark Page presenting the breakfast show on Century (prior to it becoming Real Radio) for a week – I was listening online in Taunton – thought I had gone back in time!

As for Radio Tees itself – it went through a few changes – both in the presentation and executive camps – programme controller Bob Hopton (who also presented the odd programme and voiced the Tradio announcement) – referred to as “Boris The Boss” by all the presenters – was replaced by Dave Cousins (former frontman of Strawbs) – he was subsequently replaced by Donald Cline – as he was American, he tried to make the station sound American – even running Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 show on a Saturday night – from around 1986, Radio Tees merged with Metro – I say “merged” – more like a takeover – started off by taking Metro’s night time broadcasting (albeit in mono – landlines aren’t meant for music, as was proved with the original broadcast of the Network Chart) – within a year, Radio Tees – despite boasting to be on 24 hours a day in stereo – was only on air for 12 hours in stereo and 12 hours a day in mono, as they took Metro from 7 pm to 7 am – from 1st Jan 1988, they became TFM – their AM service became, initially, Great North Radio (GNR), then Magic 1170 and now TFM 2!

Whether you tune to either TFM or Metro, you basically get the same presenters and music – TFM is still identifying itself as TFM – but it’s really Metro, with TFM jingles and adverts and opt-outs for travel and local news – even TFM 2 is Piccadilly AM, broadcasting across the north from Manchester and Liverpool in the extreme south-west, Yorkshire in the south-east and the whole of north east England, with regional opt-outs for ads, travel and news and so on!

Mike Humble 1 January 2021 at 11:42 pm

Alastair Pirrie …. Tradio

Now THAT was local wireless.

stephen smiles 15 June 2021 at 10:56 pm

Radio tees was the best radio station it was friendly with presenters that were more like frinds to me i was gutted it moved from dovcot street every time i walk past the old building im transported back to the 70s the jingles playing in my head and me mark page majing my day with his jokes. On 257mw and 95vhf in stereo ive lost a friend.

Andrew Robson 1 December 2021 at 7:00 pm

“Late on” with Graham Robb – he of “What’s Robb’s Job?” fame.

“There’s no smut on this show.”

“It’s bitter out, but it’s warm in bed.”

These days Graham’s job is boss of his PR company based in Darlington.

Some off-air recordings of the show are available at:

Bob Price 16 February 2024 at 10:06 am

Living in Seaham, I was outside the Radio Tees catchment area, but it came through clear on both FM and AM. I managed to air-check the first day and visited the station, just after it had started. The atmosphere on air was friendly and the music was focused, so listening all day was easy and satisfying. Bob Hopton was a good Programme Controller and Brian Anderson was an excellent Head of Music. The station just felt right. Happy days.

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