Hallam FM, Pulse 1 and Viking FM: Iconic local radio stations to change name as part of huge rebrand

As Hallam FM, Pulse 1 and Viking FM officially change their name this week as part of a huge rebrand, meaning the only shows broadcast locally are their breakfast shows and news headlines, we look back at how the original trailblazing heritage brand helped establish some of the industry’s most iconic names.

The first station of the Bauer Media Group’s Yorkshire trio was Hallam which began in 1974 as Radio Hallam.

Radio Hallam launched at studios in Sheffield City Centre before its relocation to 900 Herries Road.

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Its modest offices in Hillsborough were cushioned in between Sheffield United's training ground and Sheffield Wednesday's stadium.

Big John @ Breakfast will remainBig John @ Breakfast will remain
Big John @ Breakfast will remain

Radio Hallam - which later became Hallam FM - has been the launchpad for many people’s careers in media. Think DJ Stephanie Hirst, Stephen Bartlett’s now business partner Oliver Yonchev - who worked in sales - and producer and presenter Steve White who now works for the BBC.

Steve said Hallam FM was the first station he ever appeared on, at the tender age of 10 years old.

He said: “Even at that young age I knew I wanted to work in radio, and wrote to Hallam asking if I could visit the station.

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“I was blown away to be invited into their breakfast show studio and was let loose on the air with the presenters Peter and Vicky.

Hits Radio will continue the Cash4Kids appealHits Radio will continue the Cash4Kids appeal
Hits Radio will continue the Cash4Kids appeal

“That really fuelled my ambition. It meant the world to me.”

Steve managed to have two stints at his favourite radio station on Herries Road; firstly in 2007 for a year and then again as host of Drivetime and Daytimes between 2012 and 2017.

He added: “My childhood dream came true.

“Without Hallam FM, I wouldn’t have had the amazing radio career that I still enjoy to this day. That’s a fact.

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“Nor would I have made some of the very great friends I’ve made throughout my life, some of whom were those presenters that I myself used to listen to back in those childhood days.

“Thank you Hallam FM, for the opportunities, the friendships and, most of all, for the incredible memories.”

Katrina Lewis played a pivotal role behind the scenes working her way from sales to becoming a sales director before starting her own business.

She said: “Listening to Hallam from being a little girl whilst my dad drove me to school, listening to him singing you can’t park there, back in the days of Darryl Denham, are my first memories. Working there and building my first career from sales to sales director was hard work but fun with amazing people.”

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One of Kat’s recruits during her seven years at the station was Oliver Yonchev on a graduate programme. He went on to become Diary of a CEO’s Steven Bartlett’s business partner who is now a regular on BBC Dragon’s Den.

She added: “I have so many fond memories from advertising campaigns, station promotions but it’s the team and people that make any business.

“Times move on and now is that time for Hallam, we all will have our memories of Hallam and Big John and the breakfast team, the lovely Scott Makin who always had a smile on his face and the lovely Steve on drive.

“Lots of fond memories, doing fun things for great causes and a great bunch. Thank you team Hallam and good luck to all that are part of the journey for what’s to come.”

Hallam FM is now Hits Radio South Yorkshire, Viking FM has become Hits Radio East Yorkshire and Pulse 1 has now become Hits Radio West Yorkshire.

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