Local radio

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A local radio is a radio broadcaster that has received a broadcast license for a location with a regional limit. The transmission power is accordingly relatively low.

In Germany, the licenses are issued by the respective state media authorities of the federal states. The regulations for issuing licenses differ from state to state. The state media laws in Hesse , Lower Saxony , Schleswig-Holstein , Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia provide for commercial operation only for waves broadcast nationwide.

In contrast to the open channels , the local radios are mostly commercially and professionally produced radio stations. In rare cases, local radios are also operated as non-commercial local radio (e.g. Radio Z , Free Sender Kombinat ).

Local radios in Germany


The first local radio in Baden-Württemberg was the Kurpfalz-Radio from SDR in Heidelberg in 1979 (91.5 MHz - 50 W ; later window program in S4 Baden-Württemberg ). The first local radio stations with the participation of private newspaper publishers were the Stadtradio Freiburg (102.0 MHz, in cooperation with SWF ; predecessor of Radio Breisgau in SWF1 ) in 1984 and the Stadtradio Ulm in 1985 (101.9 MHz, in cooperation with the SDR); these two PPP projects ended in 1986 with the state media law. The first purely private local radio station was Hochrhein Radio Antenne 3 , launched on April 1, 1987. At the end of the 1980s there were 37 small private local radio stations, but their coverage areas were too small to be able to survive economically. Therefore, in 1992, the local radio structure was fundamentally reformed. According to the formula 15 plus 3, there are 15 local stations and three so-called area stations ( radio rainbow , antenna 1 and radio 7 ). In the course of the re-licensing in 2003, 13 local channels were created; due to mergers, there are now only 10 independent local channels.


The first local radio stations in Bavaria were launched in 1984 as part of the Munich cable pilot project . On May 29, 1985, the private ones among them (not the City-Welle Munich from BR ) received terrestrial VHF frequencies in Munich . The aim of the Bavarian government was to provide the country with as wide a coverage as possible with local stations that work independently and without central management. In 1998 three quarters of the then 56 stations with their own frequency were able to write in the black.

The Bavarian State Media Center determines how much airtime individual local channels must reserve for regional topics. This varies between two and fourteen hours. In order to reduce the costs for the operation of local radio stations, the service company for Bavarian local radio programs has been delivering news since 1991 and since 1992 a blanket program consisting of news, national advertising and music, which some local radio stations take over, especially at night and on weekends.


On August 1, 2002, Radio Cottbus ( The Radio Group ), the first independent Brandenburg local radio for Lusatia, went on air.

North Rhine-Westphalia

The first local radio station in North Rhine-Westphalia was Radio Dortmund , which was started by the public WDR in 1985 as part of the Dortmund cable pilot project . Radio Dortmund ran for nine years until WDR needed the frequency ( Schwerte 87.8 MHz - 200 W) for a new regional window from WDR 2 . The first private local radio in North Rhine-Westphalia was Radio Duisburg , which went on air on April 1, 1990.

The state government of North Rhine-Westphalia chose an approach that is fundamentally different from the Bavarian one. The two-pillar model provides for an organizer association and an operating company . The organizing community responsible for the content is organized as an association in which the local social groups come together. This has a close contractual relationship with the operating company, 75% of which is borne by the local newspaper publishers and 25% by the municipalities. This company acquires advertising and finances the station. In this way, the operating company ensures the economic operation of a station over whose content it has no influence. With this model, local newspaper publishers should compensate for their advertising losses, which were feared by local radio stations.

However, the two-pillar model was unsuccessful, and a number of stations made losses in 1998. When local radio was introduced in 1990, Radio NRW from Oberhausen also went on air with the start of local radio in order to provide an economic basis through advertising and thus income for all local stations. Radio NRW produces the program for the local stations and provides them with world news on the hour and contributions from correspondents from all over the world. Radio NRW also provides broadcasters with programs outside of local broadcast times, which averaged around six to eight hours. When local radio stations started in North Rhine-Westphalia, there were initially several providers for the general program. However, almost all of them opted for Radio NRW, so that there was no real competition.

see also: List of private local radio stations in North Rhine-Westphalia


The first local radio station in Rhineland-Palatinate was Radio Weinstrasse in 1984 as part of the Ludwigshafen cable pilot project . On May 31, 2008, six local radio stations went on air on the old Rockland Radio frequencies, including the stations Antenne Bad Kreuznach , Antenne Pfalz , Antenne Kaiserslautern , Antenne Landau , Radio Pirmasens and Radio Idar-Oberstein . The new local stations work together on production and marketing under the umbrella of The Radio Group . In addition to these stations, there are other stations with local content: Antenne West , Antenne Koblenz 98.0 , Antenne Mainz (with Radio 97eins ) and domradio Studio Nahe.


On May 9, 1993, the Saxon local broadcasting service program GmbH & Co. Studiobetriebs KG (SLP) started the first 24-hour local radio program in Saxony with Radio Dresden . It was followed by Radio Leipzig on May 16, 1993 , Radio Chemnitz on May 23, 1993 and Radio Lausitz on May 30, 1993. The SLP group, which today belongs to BCS Broadcast Sachsen GmbH & Co. KG, started Radio Zwickau and im in 1994 Year 2005 Radio Erzgebirge .

The cover program for the Saxon city broadcasters is put together in Dresden. The programs are only disconnected for the local news, always 10 minutes before the hour or every half hour. Also on weekdays from 12.50 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. to the Hit-Box. Because each of the local stations designs the hit box itself, plus the chart broadcast for the respective region on Friday. In the meantime, the individual stations named their frequency in the station name, for example "Radio Dresden 103 Punkt 5".

Independent of the local radio chain of the SLP, there are further local radios in the towns of Weißwasser ( Radio WSW , license since September 15, 1992), Plauen ( Vogtlandradio , license since September 28, 1998) and Hoyerswerda (Elsterwelle, license since January 20, 2000) each have their own VHF frequencies and operate an independent 24-hour program. The Oberwiesenthaler Radio Erzgebirge 107.7 (not to be confused with the Radio Erzgebirge of the SLP) broadcasts a local program. However, radio does not send Erzgebirge all day, it is responsible for coat program R.SA .

Local radio stations in Italy

In Italy , frequencies for private broadcasters are assigned by the Ministry of Post. These frequencies only apply to the transmission range of an antenna. Therefore, there is a multitude of local radio stations in Italy that share the market and sometimes also work together. There are nine local radios in South Tyrol that have joined the RMI news station.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. presseportal.de: 30 years of SWR4 Kurpfalz Radio
  2. fmkompakt.de: Private radio start in Germany: Baden-Württemberg