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Radio 390 was one of the more successful of the 60’s British offshore radio stations, both in terms of audience ratings and advertising income. Yet at the same time it was the opposite of everything that was associated with the ‘Swinging Sixties’.

Based on Red Sands Fort in the Thames Estuary - which itself  brought the station to prominence due to landmark legal cases - Radio 390 was the successor station to the much smaller (and less successful) Radio Invicta and KING Radio.

With a ‘sweet music’ format conceived by marketing expert Ted Allbeury, its daytime programming was aimed firmly at what was then termed the ‘housewife’ audience, while early morning and evening programmes were tailored for a wider audience. Radio 390 was an immediate success with listeners and consequently attracted significant advertising contracts, including many ‘blue chip’ companies.

While all the other offshore stations were pumping out Top 40 pop music shows presented by personality DJs, Radio 390 did the opposite - it carried mainly short 15 or 30 minute programmes of specific music genres presented (in a somewhat formal style) by ‘announcers’. The daytime programmes were branded as an ‘audio magazine’ - Eve, The Woman’s Magazine of the Air  (which was to have been the original name for the station) while other programmes were aimed at a wider audience and the station promoted itself as ‘Britain’s Family Station’.

Radio 390 was innovative with its programming - introducing for the first time on British offshore radio a daily soap opera (Dr Paul - imported from Australia) as well as programmes aimed at children (Playtime and Moonmice) and the business community (The Voice of Business).

Red Sands Fort in the Thames Estuary, home to Radio 390

SWEET  SUCCESS special exhibition

Do you have any other memorabilia about Radio 390 which we could add to this Special Exhibition?

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About Radio 390

Ted Allbeury

The Legal Fight

The Sweet Sound of Radio 390




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