Alan Ross first to go in latest Magic local cut-backs

Alan Ross, Magic AMMagic AM has axed its 1170 breakfast show for Teesside a month after radio regulator Ofcom stated local programming and news were “unimportant” to the brand’s output. Magic currently broadcast eight stations under the Magic AM name.

The change sees sister station Magic 1152 in Newcastle expand its morning show to the south of the region, fronted by former Metro Radio personality Anna Foster while Teesside host Alan Ross takes early retirement. He joined the Magic station, when it was still entirely regional, in 1999.

Bauer Media, who operate the service, said in a statement, “We believe these changes will not substantially alter the character of the service as Magic is a soft pop station and listener’s choice is driven by its music; the changes will not alter this.”

However it leaves listeners who want local information either listening to the BBC, who play no music during breakfast, or the chart music offering stations in the region which may not appeal to the older listener which Magic aims towards.

It is further cutting back on local content which has seen the eight stations over the years lose all local programming from 10am onwards until 6am the following day. Last April weekend breakfast programming was axed, apart from in Yorkshire, and this further relaxation by Ofcom has stated no regional programming is required at all – which could see breakfast eventually networked. The ruling also sees regional news from Magic no longer a requirement, although national and international news has to remain.

Magic 1152 and Magic 1170 were launched in 1997 as two separate stations on the former Great North Radio frequencies, which had broadcast a regionwide service across both the north and south of the North East region. GNR launched in 1988 on the former medium wave slot for Metro FM.

The axed Alan Ross breakfast programme was described as ‘a show exclusively for County Durham, Teesside, and North Yorkshire – for Darlington, Stockton, Hartlepool, Richmond, Middlesbrough, Crook, Northallerton & Bishop Auckland – and designed for everyone who lives and works in the Magic 1170 area – just like we do.’

Features included The Song in the Shower, where listeners chose a singalong song, a quiz around celebrity birthdays and a text trivia game, a daily racing tip and local slots such as a what’s on guide, local traffic and weather.

Magic’s success is according to Bauer Media thanks to the fact “The audience come to the station for its huge variety of music and the local characters who pull the shows together.”

Unsurprisingly Magic 1170 will continue to provide localised adverts to Teesside, which Ofcom haven’t found ‘irrelevant’ to the output. The 1152-1170 Anna Foster breakfast show begins tomorrow (Monday, March 4th).


  • After many years as a magic listener i find that we in Teeside no longer have a local radio broadcast. Alan Ross I hope that you enjoy your retirement.
    To the powers that be that made this decision, i expect that i am not the only listener you lost. Good bye to what used to be a great mornong show….now to switch to a better presenter cos the new girl just ain’t got it.

  • I agree with Janet Powell, I always listened to the Alan Ross show and liked the fact that when people rang in for the trivia he knew them all,local radio show, for local people. Listen to another station in the morning now. Best wishes to Alan enjoyed every minute.

  • I cannot believe Magic has caused this to happen.
    Alan was a fantastic DJ whom I loved listening to on the morning.
    Sadly Magic appears to be losing touch with it’s local people and even more sadly, we appear to be losing our local station!

    Again, best wishes to Alan…

  • mike & julie darlington

    used to love listening to the alan ross breakfast show before going to work, felt as though alan was sat with you good luck whatever you are doing now. best wishes mike &Julie D

  • A radio 2 listener myself , but my wife has listened to magic forever so i can,t avoid Alan Ross. what a brilliant presenter and will be sadly missed. Not only because he was from the area but knew his listeners. Good look alan

  • I much preferred Alan Ross so have changed to a different Breakfast Show, listened to Alan ages ago when he had an afternoon slot.
    Best Wishes to Alan

  • Magic have lost another listener, mornings are not the same without Alan Ross. And once again Teesside becomes No Mans Land in between York and Newcastle!

  • My husband and I have listened to magic for years but we are now changing stations we have given the new girl every opportunity but feel she does’nt cut the mustard. Enjoy your retirement Alan not the same without you.

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