|Slogan||“The Biggest Hits, The Biggest Throwbacks”|
|Frequency||FM: RDS __AIRE__ MHz96.3 DAB: 12D|
|First air date||1 September 1981|
|Transmitter coordinates||53.7356°N 1.5782°W|
|Sister stations||Greatest Hits Radio|
The station was launched on 1 September 1981 by presenter Graham Thornton and the first song played was Pilot of the Airwaves by Charlie Dore. Radio Aire originally broadcast on 362 metres medium wave (828 kHz AM) and 94.6 VHF but was moved to 96.3 FM (VHF) in 1986.
Radio Aire is situated on Burley Road, overlooking Kirkstall Road next to ITV Yorkshire's studios and was the first Independent Local Radio station to have studios especially built for the purpose of radio transmission. In the late 1980s, the studios were used for The James Whale Radio Show, which was a late night TV show, broadcast on ITV, Radio Aire and Red Rose Radio.
On 17 July 1990, Radio Aire split frequencies, forming Aire FM and Magic 828. In 1992, the name was changed to Radio Aire FM and then, 96.3 Aire FM in 1995. A change of format in 1996 saw another station name change to The New 96.3 Aire FM before The New was dropped in 1998. By March 2001, Radio Aire had reverted to its original name.
The station, together with Magic 828 was bought by EMAP in 1995 and it became part of their Big City Network of stations and has maintained a generic branding with sister stations across Northern England since about 2000. Following the acquisition of EMAP Radio, the station is now part of Bauer Radio.
The station's FM transmission is radiated at the Tingley site in Morley, close to the A653 and junction 28 of the M62. The adjacent mast, known as Morley, is former home of the station's FM transmissions. It continues to broadcast sister station Greatest Hits Radio on 828 KHz medium wave and the Leeds DAB multiplex.
All networked programming originates from Hits Radio's Manchester headquarters.
Radio Aire broadcasts local news bulletins hourly from 6am to 7pm on weekdays, from 7am to 1pm on Saturdays and from 9am to 12pm on Sundays. Headlines are broadcast on the half-hour during weekday breakfast and drivetime shows, alongside sport and traffic bulletins.
National bulletins from Sky News Radio are carried overnight with bespoke networked bulletins on weekend afternoons generally produced in the Leeds newsroom for the Hits Radio Network in northern England and the West Midlands.
Notable former presenters
- Christa Ackroyd
- Bruno Brookes
- Carl Kingston
- Paddy Bunce
- Mark Easton
- Paul Fairburn
- Stephanie Hirst
- Lucy Horobin
- Peter Matthew Hutton
- Martin Kelner
- Andy Kershaw
- Liz Kershaw
- Jason King
- Edouard Lapaglie
- Alex Lester
- Peter Levy
- Vicky Locklin
- Mark Mardell
- Paul Welsh
- Chris Moyles
- Bob Preedy
- Steve Priestley
- Phil Riley
- Joel Ross
- Peter Tait
- Carol Vorderman
- James Whale
- Tony Wrighton
- Radio Aire - Public File
- Hits Radio Network stations drop local weekend programmes, Radio Today, 30 May 2019
- Bauer to network drivetime across 11 licences in North and Midlands, Radio Today, 5 August 2019
- JK and Lucy join Heart Solent Radio Today, 16 January 2012