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Vibe 1

Vibe 1 will be the new name for Stafford FM from Monday 22nd April 2024.

After more than 23 years - we're changing our name. Why? Well - we thought we'd answer some questions right here.

Stafford FM first launched as a 28-day restricted services license in 2001. After more than 7 further RSL (restricted services license) broadcasts we landed a full time FM license from the regulator, Ofcom, serving Stafford and the surrounding areas in 2015. 

107.3 Stafford FM began broadcasting to Staffordshire's county town on Saturday 25th April 2015. 

Since then there have been some hugely significant changes in the radio landscape, including the recent 'deregulation' within commercial radio which has seen dozens of heritage radio stations disappear in favour of 'quasi-national' brands with major groups such as; Global and Bauer, taking the lead. 

Local radio has been significantly diluted with brands such as; Capital, Heart, and more recently, Hits and Greatest Hits, switching their programming from communities they were originally serving to 'network centres' in London, Birmingham and Manchester, and sharing programmes across their networks. 

There have also been huge cuts to local programming at the BBC with our neighbouring station, Radio Stoke, reducing its local output to just a Breakfast and Mid Morning Show, and sharing programmes across other regions. 

These changes have left a hole for thousands of disillusioned listeners that have lost their 'local' radio station. 

We understand the importance of bringing communities together. We have been doing it in Stafford Borough for quite some time now. However, we are quickly moving towards a digital age. Listeners are consuming radio in many different ways now - and not just through the traditional means.

We are proud to say that we have a huge online/digital audience. This is easily tracked through our data - with many choosing to listen via their smart speaker, via the website or on the Stafford FM mobile app.

It is important that we embrace this new world - with technology moving quickly - we intend to work with the regulator, Ofcom, in providing a DAB (digital radio) platform for the area we serve.

All our programming is locally produced and we are always striving to push the boundaries with our shows, content and engagement.

We have a proud and rich history of providing Stafford and the surrounding areas with a local radio service that they can call their own. 

  • Vibe 1 will continue to do the things we have always done - and so much more! 
  • Vibe 1 will promote the positive interests of the area.
  • Vibe 1 will bring more communities closer together in Mid Staffordshire through our output, showcasing local talent, promoting local businesses and providing a greater voice for community groups and charitable organisations.

Why Vibe 1?
Firstly - no, there is no direct correlation in the name with the area that we broadcast to - but the name 'Vibe' is a good, strong word that has lots of positive connotations. We chose this name to continue our work in promoting the positive interests of the community.

I have never heard of Mid Staffordshire - there is no such place?
Wrong. Mid Staffordshire is made up of the county town, Stone, Eccleshall and the surrounding areas, including places such as Gnosall and Penkridge.
Mid Staffordshire has been widely referred to on many occasions - by the Staffordshire Newsletter and you may remember Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. It is clearly identified by many authorities and is the area in which we will be serving and offering a greater voice by linking more communities together.

But we like the fact you're called Stafford FM, we can call it our own...
Yes it screams Stafford, but there are 2 main reasons why we decided on a name change;
Firstly, we cannot use the name in places such as Stone. We do not want to sound Stafford-centric - and we want Stone listeners to feel a part of our family.
Secondly, the FM part won't work in the digital era. We do not just broadcast on FM, therefore, we wanted something 'fresh' and a little 'different'.

Think about this... do those that listen to Heart or Radio 2 listen to those radio stations because they are called Heart and Radio 2? No. They listen because they like what they hear. They have a connection with the presenter, a show, the content, the choice of music, or maybe something else.

Why the '1' in the name?
Again - the '1' can have lots of connotations but it does allow us to look at an expansion of our service. 

What will change when I listen?
Not a huge amount. We will still be providing Stafford with a unique service which will include; your favourite presenters, great music, competitions, interviews with interesting people from our community, a voice for local charities and community organisations, and affordable radio advertising for local businesses.
However, you will also hear those same people with interesting stories from places such as Stone and Eccleshall.

Will the change affect how I can listen to Vibe 1?
In short, no. 
Nothing will change straight away but further down the line you will have to ask your smart speaker to 'Play Vibe 1'. In the meantime, everything will be as we are.
You will be able say 'Play Stafford FM' on Alexa and you won't need to change anything if you have already downloaded the Stafford FM mobile app from Apple or Google Play.

In addition to this, we are looking at making some improvements to our FM coverage over the course of the next few weeks. This can be quite a slow process but once we have made a few adjustments we should be even more crystal clear!

Will the website change?
We are working on 'refreshing' the current Stafford FM website - and although the address will change, but we'll let you know our new web address when we push the button. 

I am an advertiser, how does this affect my campaign?
It won't. We value our local radio commercial advertisers and partners, and if you're currently on air with us - nothing will change at all.

If you have any questions relating to this, please email: sales@staffordfm.co.uk

Vibe 1 will be a radio station you can call your own. It will be the same great radio station - but with a new name.

Look out for the Vibe 1 street teams around the area in the coming months - we're going to be a loads of events. Keep listening for more details!