|Broadcast area||West Midlands conurbation|
|Frequency||95.6 MHz, DAB, Freeview channel 722.|
RDS: BBC WM
|Slogan||The sound of Birmingham and the Black Country, and all the music you love|
|Format||Local news, talk and music|
|Owner||BBC Local Radio,|
First air date
|9 November 1970|
|Website||BBC Radio WM|
BBC Radio WM is the BBC Local Radio service serving the West Midlands conurbation, operated by BBC Birmingham. Launched on 9 November 1970 as BBC Radio Birmingham, it broadcasts from central Birmingham on 95.6 FM, DAB, Freeview and online.
Until 2004, BBC WM broadcast from the Pebble Mill studios, in Edgbaston. On 4 July of that year, the station moved to the new BBC Birmingham city centre offices in The Mailbox. Its facilities include two broadcast studios, a talk studio, an operations and production area, and a studio shared with the BBC Asian Network.
As a 1990s economy measure, the station took over BBC CWR (Coventry and Warwickshire radio). On 3 September 2005, CWR resumed the production of separate programming between 5.00 and 22.00 each weekday (6.00 – 18.00 at weekends).
In late 2011, the station began using the on air identity of BBC WM 95.6 as opposed to BBC WM as it had previously used. BBC WM 95.6 now broadcasts from 0500 to 0100 hours on Monday – Thursday, 0500 on Friday to 0100 on Sunday and from 0600 to 0100 hours on Sundays.
When launched, the station had a monopoly of local radio in the Birmingham area. The station's low audience since the advent of independent local radio has led to reports of threatened closure on various occasions. In the mid-1980s, a new manager, Tony Inchley, brought in extensive format changes with a view to stabilising the audience, although the station remained small in listenership numbers.
The majority of BBC WM's programming is produced and broadcast from Birmingham, alongside regional programming for sister stations in the BBC Midlands and BBC East Midlands regions. It also simulcasts overnight programming from BBC Radio 5 Live.
The station also broadcasts specialist music programming and shows serving the local Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities.
Notable presenters include:
- Alex Lester (2017-2020)
- Andrew Peach
- Ed Doolan (deceased)
- Gordon Astley
- Janice Long (2000–2010)
- Les Ross (2005–2009)
- Malcolm Boyden
- Sunny and Shay (2014-2020)
- Tony Butler
- Stuart Linnell
- Phil Upton (2006–2012)
- Carl Chinn (1994-2012)
- Adrian Goldberg (2003-2006, 2010-2017, 2018–2020)
- Graham Torrington (2012-2020)
- "BBC WM – 40th anniversary". BBC News Online. BBC Birmingham. 8 November 2010.
In November 1981 Radio Birmingham changed its name to BBC Radio WM (the 'Radio' was later dropped) to give a better reflection of the area it covered.
- "BBC WM – Familiar voices from 40 years of broadcasting". BBC News. 8 November 2010. Archived from the original on 11 November 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
- BBC WM: The first 40 years
- "RAJAR". RAJAR. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- BBC WM website
- BBC WM: The first 40 years – 58-minute radio documentary by BBC WM (streaming audio)
- "BBC WM looks back on its 40 years of broadcasting". BBC News Online. BBC Birmingham. 26 August 2010.