Station Launch

4 April 1989

The Independent Broadcasting Authority is to advertise for applications for a community FM radio station in Birmingham. The IBA has been authorised to establish 21 community radio services during the present phase of Independent Radio development and will advertise the final seven stations this week. Birmingham will be advertised at an adult population of 510,000. Seven “incremental” stations have now been designated specifically for ethnic services including one already advertised for Coventry.

13 April 1989

John Henry and Lindsay Reid are set to apply for the Birmingham radio license, recently advertised by the IBA. Mr Henry and Mr Reid are both directors of Hawkins wine bar and have been waiting for the opportunity to apply. Their station will be known as Buzz FM and radio equipment has been installed at the planned station’s base in Corporate Street, on the fifth floor of the Ruskin Buildings. The partners estimate it will cost up to £350,000 to set up the station to cover and area with a population of 650,000 and will broadcast 24 hours a day.

26 December 1989 (approx)

Just after Christmas 1989 in the final week of the year, Buzz FM test transmissions from Metropolitan House began on 102.4 FM.

Early 1990 – Buzz FM Test Transmissions

Good afternoon. You’re listening to test transmissions from Buzz FM. These transmissions are in preparation for the new independent local radio service for the Birmingham area which will be provided by Buzz FM as the IBA’s contractor. The new service plans to begin broadcasting in the Spring and can be heard on 102.4 FM. For further information about the reception of this new service and independent local radio elsewhere in Britain, inquiries should be addressed to the Senior National & Regional Officer, Independent Broadcasting Authority, Linden House, 62 Hagley Road, Birmingham B16 8PE

Sunday May 13 1990 – One day to launch:

Buzz FM. These test transmissions will shortly cease, because the new independent local radio service for the Birmingham area provided by Buzz FM as the IBA’s contractor begins broadcasting at 8am tomorrow morning. Buzz FM can be heard on 102.4 FM.

Monday May 14 1990 7:55am. 5 minutes to launch:

You’re listening to Buzz transmissions from Test FM. In 5 minutes the real thing, the real Buzz on 102.4 FM. The new independent local radio service for Birmingham with Buzz as the IBA’s contractor. Want to know more? Write to Buzz FM, The Spencers, 20 Augusta Street, The Jewelry Quarter Birmingham B18 6JA

Monday May 14 1990 8:00am:

Mark Williams, the first presenter to be heard on the station with these opening words “This for the very first time is Buzz FM 102.4”

The playlist for the first hour:
Lisa Stansfied – All Around The World
The Neville Brothers – Bird On A Wire
Talk Talk – It’s My Life
Mary Davis – Don’t Wear It Out
Pointer Sisters – Dare Me
Go West – King Of Wishful Thinking
MC Hammer – U Can’t Touch This
Melba Moore – Do You Really Want My Love