Absolute Radio Classic Rock
|Broadcast area||United Kingdom|
|Branding||Absolute Classic Rock|
|Slogan||Rock's Greatest Hits|
|Network||Absolute Radio Network|
|First air date||4 December 2000|
Formerly known as Virgin Radio Classic Rock, it originally was an internet-only radio station, and launched in 2000 under the name Virgin Classic by Lee Roberts, SMG Radio Director. On DAB Digital Radio in London, the station launched at 12:15pm with Richard Skinner introducing Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild". The launch time, presenter, and song (though not the artist) were identical to its parent station Virgin Radio.
On 1 September 2008 it was announced that Virgin Radio Classic Rock would be rebranded as Absolute Classic Rock on 29 September 2008.
On 10 December 2010 Absolute Classic Rock expanded on DAB from London, taking over from Global Radio owned Gold on DAB in the North of England where there were 10 million potential new listeners on DAB in Newcastle, Sunderland, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Leeds, Hull, Scunthorpe, Grimsby, York, Huddersfield, Doncaster, Harrogate, Bradford, Sheffield, Blackburn, Preston, Blackpool, Bolton, Lancaster, Liverpool, Chester, Wrexham (North Wales) and Warrington
On 20 December 2010 Absolute Classic Rock launched on DAB to a potential new 3 million new listeners in Ayr, Bath, Cardiff, Coventry and Exeter.
In 2011 it was confirmed by Ofcom that to accommodate the launch of new sister station Absolute Radio 60s, the reduction of the broadcast bitrate of Absolute Classic Rock would be permitted on the various multiplexes on which it broadcasts.
West Midlands changes
On 7 January 2019, Bauer closed Free Radio 80s and replaced it with Greatest Hits Radio West Midlands. It launched the station on its 105.2 FM frequency which covers Birmingham and the Black Country and Bauer chose to allocate its AM frequencies which cover that area to Absolute Classic Rock. This was the first time that the station had been available on analogue radio. Transmissions on 990 and 1017 kHz ceased on 30 April 2020, with service remaining on 1152 kHz until 30 June 2020, when that was also ceased.
Notable former presenters
- "Virgin launches online classic". Broadcast. 4 December 2000.
- Barnett, Emma (1 September 2008). "Plans revealed to rebrand Virgin Radio as Absolute". Brand Republic. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
- "Changes to Absolute Classic Rock and Absolute Radio 00s". One Golden Square. 21 November 2011.
- Ofcom radio broadcast licensing update for October 2011, published 1 Nov 2011 Archived 3 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- BAUER MEDIA TO LAUNCH THE GREATEST HITS RADIO NETWORK Bauer Media, 15 November 2018
- Bauer Media to launch Greatest Hits Radio network Radio Today, 15 November 2018