Spirit FM to undergo re-brand following buyout

West Sussex radio station Spirit FM based in Chichester is to get a new name as it joins the UK's largest commercial network, its new owners have revealed.

The Chichester-based radio station was acquired by Bauer Media in 2019. The company has now announced Spirit FM, which broadcasts across West Sussex, will join Bauer's 'Hits Radio Brand Network'.

The integration will mean that Spirit FM will rebrand as 'Greatest Hits Radio'.

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The name change is likely to prove controversial with some locals - Spirit FM has become a much-loved brand since it was founded in 1996.

Dukes Court in Chichester. Picture via Google Streetview

Dee Ford CBE, group managing director radio, Bauer Radio said: “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.”

The change means a number of jobs will be put into consultation and freelance contracts will be reviewed.

A spokesman for Bauer Media said the group is 'fully committed' to supporting employees affected by the change. A period of consultation with employees potentially affected will commence today.

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.”

Spirit FM is based in Dukes Court, Chichester.