Imagine FM

Imagine FM is an Independent Local Radio station run by UTV Radio which broadcasts to Stockport and the immediate surrounding area, just south of Manchester in the north west of England.


The station began its life as KFM, initially an unlicensed local radio station based in Stockport and broadcasting to the South Manchester/North Cheshire area on 94.2 mHz and then on 1017 kHz.

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.

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.

The transmitter is at Romiley near the Manchester-Sheffield railway line.


On Wednesday May 21 2008, Ofcom rejected a request by UTV to co-locate the station to Warrington alongside three of its stations. As a result of Ofcom's decision, UTV placed Imagine FM up for sale in June 2008, stating that if a buyer cannot be found by June 30, 2008 then the stations licence would be handed back to Ofcom.


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