KFM ran during the 1980s and then relaunched legitimately as one of the first 'incremental' local commercial stations in 1990. It was set up to provide more localised and specialised programming.
Stoke-on-Trent based Signal Radio assumed control of the station, following difficulties in its latter incarnation, and KFM became memorable almost solely for its 7:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. 'Night-time KFM' output. This combined local and global cutting edge Indie music with unorthodox and innovative DJing.
Presenters on air at this time include Craig Cash, Caroline Aherne , Jon Ronson, Terry Christian and Neil Cossar, all of which have all gone on to forge successful careers in the media and performing arts.
KFM was succeeded by Signal Cheshire.
In 1990 a new service was launched, in Cheshire, on 96.4 FM called Echo 96. In 1991 this was renamed Signal Cheshire upon the acquisition of the KFM 104.9 transmitter. Based in Stockport, 'Signal Cheshire' targeted the surrounding area of South Manchester and much of Cheshire, opting into networked programming from the Stoke-on-Trent site by night. In what may have been confusing at the time, that station adopted further changes of identity in 1997, referred to as Signal FM, Signal 104.9/96.4, or Signal 105.
In 2000, Imagine FM became the new rebranded service on 104.9 and 96.4, however, and when the 104.9 frequency was readvertised, then owners of both stations The Wireless Group decided that the 96.4 transmitter should return to Signal One.
It uses the tag line 'playing only the songs you love' and bases much of the music on audience feedback. It also prides itself on updating the area on local news and sport.
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