So we finally have it, Global have announced various changes to their brands, including the sale of 8 stations to the Irish media company Communicorp, who own Today FM and Spin in Ireland.
Radio Rental will attempt to explain in layman's terms what will happen to each brand and how you can still listen, although some final details are still to be confirmed.
REAL RADIO: These stations will all rebrand to Heart with network programming from London. Real North Wales and Real Yorkshire have been sold to Communicorp. The current Welsh station will be split between South and Mid and North Wales when it rebrands to Heart.
CAPITAL: No change for the average listener, Capital South Wales and Capital Scotland will be owned by Communicorp, but will continue to take programming from Capital in London. A new Capital station will launch in North Wales on Heart's existing frequencies. However Welsh language programming will continue on those stations with those requirements.
HEART: Business as usual for the existing Heart network, with the exception of North Wales where the existing station will move to Real Radio's frequencies and will be owned by Communicorp. Heart North Wales will no longer have to broadcast Welsh language programming which will move to Capital.
GOLD: Gold will no longer broadcast to the majority of the country on DAB and AM, except in London, Manchester and the East Midlands. Speculation is rife that Gold will replace Smooth on national DAB with a 70s, 80s and early 90s format.
SMOOTH RADIO: The station will be removed from national DAB with all current Smooth regional FM licences providing local programming for seven hours a day on weekdays and four at weekends. The station will also be available on local DAB and AM in areas currently served by Gold with the exception of London, Manchester and the East Midlands where Smooth is on FM. In Wales, Smooth will also provide national programming within Wales for four hours a day on weekdays on AM in Cardiff/Newport and Wrexham.
Communicorp will also own Smooth in the North West, North East and the East Midlands.
REAL RADIO XS: In Glasgow, the station will rebrand as Xfm which outside of local hours will network from London. It's unconfirmed how Real XS Manchester will continue, but has been purchased by Communicorp.
LBC 97.3 will go national on Digital One DAB from February 11th replacing Birdsong and there is no change to LBC News 1152, Capital Xtra or Xfm in London and Manchester.