On March 1987,
The Sun newspaper reported LWR had won 1.5 million listeners.
At the time of closure The Mail On Sunday had described LWR as the largest station in the UK
Mike Allen a respected former Capital Radio and LBC presenter gave a commendable endorsement on his website in 2013, of LWR’s popularity across London’s airwaves and also confirmed what was written in the papers at the time (although they tend to underplay the real listening figures which was likely to have been over 2 million) regarding the popularity of the station.
‘Like most other pirates LWR struggled at first to maintain signal strength, quality and also consistent broadcasts. But by September 1983, it had established itself sufficiently and under new management grew to cater for a wide variety of specifically black music, including Soul, R&B, Calypso, Jazz, Funk, Latin, Reggae and Hip-Hop. By about March 1984 , it was broadcasting 7 days a week. It managed to weather the constant DTI raids which had silence JFM and Horizon and carried on broadcasting until 31st December 1988, when it closed down voluntarily to bid for a legal licence (unsuccessfully). At the time of it’s closure it was described by national newspaper Mail On Sunday as the largest land based (pirate) station in the UK.
LWR had an impressive roster of 22 DJ’s and proved serious competition to Kiss FM. On March 1987, The Sun newspaper reported it had won 1.5 million listeners. In their own words they had competitive advertising rates and raised healthy revenue from long commercial breaks and self promotion for gigs. Their DJ’s had built solid reputations in the clubs, and like those from Kiss, were at the forefront of the emerging dance music scene. The LWR Soul Syndicate DJ’s played regular Friday night set’s at Valentino’s in Tottenham and were also available for hire via Zak’s promotions company Midas Media.’ © Lindsay 2013.