25th October 1992

Channel 103 goes on the air

Channel 103, Jersey’s commercial radio station, almost didn’t make it to air at all. The island’s biggest broadcaster, Channel Television, had put its weight behind a rival bid from Jersey FM, as well as Island FM in Guernsey. However, while Island FM was successful in securing its Guernsey licence, Jersey FM failed, and the right to broadcast in Jersey instead went to Channel Radio, which later changed its name to Channel 103 to reflect its frequency.

This was bad news for Island FM on Guernsey, too, as Channel Television was then less keen on investing in the broadcaster as it would no longer be able to make cost savings by sharing resources across two stations.

The winning bidders were announced in July, so to get on air in less than four months was a significant achievement by the team behind Channel 103.

Another radio station

Channel Radio and Jersey FM had been far from the only organisations bidding to broadcast to Jersey. On Valentines’ Day 1992, the Aberdeen Press and Journal had reported that “the former chairman of Moray Firth Radio [Alistair Gardner] is set to make a new name for himself in broadcasting – in the Channel Islands”.

Gardner was part of a consortium backing Jersey Independent Radio, along with songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan and Senator John Rothwell, who was former head of news and features at Channel Television.


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