Capital South Wales

Capital South Wales is a regional radio station owned by Communicorp and operated by Global Radio as part of the Capital radio network. It broadcasts to Cardiff, Newport and the surrounding areas – from studios in Cardiff Bay.[1]

Capital South Wales
Capital southwales
Broadcast areaSouth East Wales
Branding97.4 & 103.2 Capital
SloganSouth Wales' No.1 Hit Music Station
FrequencyFM: 97.4, 103.2 MHz
DAB: 12C
RDS: Capital
First air date11 April 1980
FormatContemporary hit radio
Sister stationsClassic FM
Heart South Wales
Smooth Wales
WebsiteCapital South Wales


The station originally took to the air in Cardiff only. Known as CBC (Cardiff Broadcasting Company), the station launched in April 1980 on 221 metres medium wave (1359 kHz AM) and 96.0 VHF. Following the closure of neighbouring Gwent Broadcasting (GB Radio) in April 1985 CBC began relaying its service as a temporary measure to southern Gwent on 104 VHF and 230 metres medium wave (1305 kHz). This became permanent when CBC re-launched as Red Dragon Radio on 14 October 1985. Initially, there were separate drivetime shows for Glamorgan and Gwent, but these were dropped for a single service by the early 1990s.

Red Dragon ID on RDS radio in Rover 800
Red Dragon displayed on a RDS car radio

On 3 January 2011 the station was rebranded from Red Dragon to 97.4 & 103.2 Capital as part of a merger of owners Global Radio's Hit Music and Galaxy networks to form Capital. On 6 February 2014, Global Radio announced it would be selling Capital South Wales to Communicorp. Capital's network programming and brand name are retained under a contract. Global's Heart Wales station shares facilities at the Capital studios in Cardiff Bay.[2]

On 26 February 2019, Global confirmed the station's local breakfast and weekend shows would be replaced with networked programming from April 2019. The weekday Drivetime show was retained alongside news bulletins, traffic updates and advertising.[3]

Coverage area

Initially, CBC broadcast to Cardiff on 96.0 MHz and Newport on 104.0 MHz FM. These frequencies were switched to 103.2 MHz and 97.4 MHz respectively in 1987 following a national reorganisation of UK FM frequencies.

The 103.2 MHz signal, which is the stronger of the two, comes from the transmitter at Wenallt near Cardiff, with the 97.4 MHz signal being transmitted from Christchurch in Newport. The signals reach as far out as the South Wales Valleys to the north and part of Bridgend to the west.[4]

Simulcasting on 1305 & 1359 kHz AM ended in 1990 with the launch of Touch AM. Those frequencies are now used by the Smooth Radio network.

Capital South Wales also broadcasts on the NOW Cardiff & Newport DAB multiplex. The station can also be heard live via its website or on its iPhone/Android application. Other stations owned by Global Radio can also be streamed. Both require a WiFi, 4G or 3G connection.


All networked programming originates from Global Radio's London headquarters, including the Vodafone Big Top 40 on Sunday afternoons, simulcast with the sister Heart Network.

Local programming is produced and broadcast from Capital's Cardiff Bay studios from 4-7pm,[5] presented by Josh Andrews and Kally Davies.


Capital South Wales broadcasts hourly local news updates from 5am-7pm on weekdays and 8am-12pm at weekends with headlines on the half-hour during Capital Breakfast on weekdays.

The bulletins are produced for Communicorp by Global Radio's Cardiff Bay newsroom, which also produces bulletins for Heart South Wales, Heart North Wales and Smooth Wales.[6]

Former presenters


  1. ^ Broadcast Radio MCAs maps
  2. ^ Martin, Roy (6 February 2014). "Communicorp buys 8 Global stations". RadioToday. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  3. ^ Roman Kemp, Vick Hope and Sonny Jay to go national on Capital, RadioToday, 11 March 2019
  4. ^
  5. ^ Capital FM – South Wales public file
  6. ^ Capital FM – South Wales public file
  7. ^ Dave Kelly to replace Neil Fitzmaurice at Radio City Archived 2 August 2012 at at
  8. ^ Margherita Taylor swaps Capital for Heart Radio Today, 22 December 2011

External links

Capital (radio network)

Capital FM is a network of eleven independent contemporary hit radio stations in the United Kingdom, broadcasting a mix of local and networked programming. Nine of the stations are owned and operated by Global, while the other two are owned and operated by Communicorp UK under franchise agreements.As of June 2018, the stations serve a combined weekly audience of 7.4 million listeners and target a core audience in the 15–34 age group; 57% of all listeners are within this demographic.Capital FM has a narrow playlist with only a few changes per week, featuring songs from the last one or two years. Unlike BBC Radio 1, Capital does not play rock, classic hits or alternative music.

Capital Breakfast

Capital Breakfast is the name of the breakfast slot on Capital London (and across Capital). The show is broadcast from 6 am to 10 am each weekday. From 7 January 2012 an additional live networked edition is broadcast from 6 am to 9 am each Saturday.

A national version of the programme began on 8 April 2019 forcing the local variations across the UK to be axed. Those local versions were Dino, Pete & Tyles (Capital East Midlands), Jono & Emma (Capital South Coast), Adam & JoJo (Capital Yorkshire), Rob & Matilda (Capital Birmingham), Matt & Polly (Capital South Wales), Bodg, Matt & Hannah (Capital North East), The Rob Ellis Show (Capital Manchester), Des Clarke, Steven & Amy (Capital Scotland), Ben Sheppard (Capital North West and Wales), Alistair James (Capital Cymru), Adam, Gemma & Dylan (Capital Liverpool) and Dave and Miranda (Capital Brighton).

Cardiff Central bus station

Cardiff Central bus station was the main bus transport interchange in the Cardiff city centre until it closed on 1 August 2015. With 34 stands, it was the largest bus station in Wales. It was located adjacent to Cardiff Central railway station forming a major interchange. Construction of a new bus station on the site of the former NCP multi-storey car park in Wood Street adjacent to the old bus station is due to begin early in 2018 with an expected date of completion in 2020.The station used to handle the vast majority of bus and coach services that run in and through the city. Notable exceptions were Megabus services (which called at Kingsway and Cardiff University), Stagecoach South Wales route 122 (which called at Greyfriars Road) and EST route 89 (which used Customhouse Street).

Central Square, Cardiff

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Galaxy Digital

Galaxy Digital was a radio station broadcasting through the digital platform across the United Kingdom and was owned by Global Radio. It primarily broadcast in areas where Galaxy was not represented on FM, such as London, Leicester, Nottingham, and Derbyshire. It also formerly broadcast in Central Scotland, until the relaunch of Xfm Scotland as Galaxy Scotland, at which point Galaxy Digital on DAB was replaced with a relay of Xfm London.

The digital station was a 'sister' radio station to the local Galaxy Network services in various areas. The digital service was broadcast largely from the Galaxy Yorkshire studios, and much of the content networked across the group came from this location.

Since Monday 21 January 2008, Galaxy Digital was changed from its own dedicated service (albeit with mostly network content) to broadcast almost entirely as a direct relay of Galaxy Yorkshire, though the 'Across Yorkshire' on-air tagline was replaced by 'Across the UK' on the digital service. (Online listeners to the Galaxy Digital site got a direct feed of the Yorkshire service, with the Yorkshire tagline). Since Friday 21 March 2008, the radio station changed their 'Passion for Music, Passion for Life' strap-line slogan to 'Love Music' ; the tagline changed again in 2010 to "The UK's Number One Hit Music Station" in preparation for the impending Capital relaunch (see below).

Galaxy Digital, as with the other Galaxy stations, specialised in Mainstream pop/dance/urban music with shows such as 'Hirsty's Daily Dose' in the mornings and James Barr in the evenings. Galaxy Digital often played cut-down versions of songs (usually recurrents) to fill in for all or part of the commercial break whilst the other Galaxy Stations played regional adverts.

In January 2011, Galaxy Digital ceased to operate, due to the merger of Galaxy stations into The Capital FM Network by Global Radio.

Jon Ronson

Jon Ronson (born 10 May 1967) is a Welsh journalist and documentary filmmaker whose works include The Men Who Stare at Goats (2004) and The Psychopath Test (2011). He has been described as a gonzo journalist, becoming a faux-naïf character in his stories.He produces informal but sceptical investigations of controversial fringe politics and science. He has published nine books and his work has appeared in British publications such as The Guardian, City Life and Time Out. He has made several BBC Television documentary films and two documentary series for Channel 4.

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MXR Severn Estuary was a regional commercial digital radio multiplex in the United Kingdom, which served the West of England and South Wales, including Bristol, Bath, Weston-super-Mare, Cardiff, Newport, Swansea, the South Wales Valleys and north Somerset. The multiplex closed on 29 July 2013 after the shareholders Global Radio & Arqiva decided not to renew the licence.

Media of Wales

The media in Wales provide services in both English and Welsh, and play a role in modern Welsh culture. BBC Wales began broadcasting in 1923 have helped to promote a form of standardised spoken Welsh, and one historian has argued that the concept of Wales as a single national entity owes much to modern broadcasting. The national broadcasters are based in the capital, Cardiff.

Radio X (United Kingdom)

Radio X is a United Kingdom commercial radio station brand focused on alternative music, primarily indie rock, and owned by Global. Radio X launched nationally on 21 September 2015 as a rebrand of Xfm and superseded Xfm London and Xfm Manchester.The station has employed a number of DJs that have since gone on to even greater fame including Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington, Stephen Merchant, Simon Pegg, Christian O'Connell, Russell Brand, Justin Lee Collins, Adam and Joe, Alex Zane, Tim Lovejoy, Dermot O'Leary and Josh Widdicombe.

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Smooth Radio is a network of adult contemporary local radio stations broadcasting on FM and MW stations in the United Kingdom. Launched in March 2014, they replaced the national Smooth Radio that had launched in 2010 on FM, and most outlets of Gold on MW. Each FM station broadcasts localised breakfast and drivetime programming on weekdays, with networked shows simulcast from London at all other times. Three of the six FM stations, and all eighteen AM frequencies, are owned and operated by Global, with the remaining three FM licences owned by Communicorp and run as a franchise.

Smooth Wales

Smooth Wales is an Independent Local Radio station broadcasting to the Cardiff area of South Wales and to the Wrexham area of North Wales, as well as parts of Cheshire in England. All programming content is now shared to both areas. It is the only AM station in the Smooth radio network to have its own content, a local four-hour weekday show, as all other Smooth AM stations, as added to the network in 2014, carry the London network FM content, opting out only for local news and advertising breaks. The local show on Smooth Wales was carried over from the station's previous incarnation as Gold.

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The Official Big Top 40

The Official Big Top 40 is a radio chart show broadcast on Global's Capital and Heart networks. The show is presented by Capital's Will Manning. Before January 2019, the show was broadcast on 140 commercial radio stations in the UK with an audience each week of 2.5 million listeners. It was the single biggest radio programme on UK commercial radio, and around twice the size of its competitor. Between 2010 and 2018 the show was sponsored by Vodafone. However, in September 2018, Bauer announced that their Hits Radio network would ditch the show to allow for 'more competition' on a Sunday afternoon. This led to Global making the decision to withdraw the show from syndication for other groups such as UKRD, Quidem, Nation and Lincs FM Group, leaving it predominantly on their own Capital and Heart networks. The chart has no affiliation with the Official Charts Company as it is based on commercial radio airplay and music download figures provided by Apple Music and iTunes. It does not measure the entire UK singles market each week across all retailers and digital services as the BBC Radio 1 Official Chart does. The chart is a combination of weekly iTunes sales data, Apple Music and other streaming sources, alongside the biggest tracks played on the radio stations that broadcast the show. It was the only UK chart to include airplay in its algorithm.

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