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The original idea for the 'Black Thunder' promotional brand came from Sunny Australia where the brand is still iconic.

Photo's are included here of Canberra's #1 hit music radio stations Black Thunders.


“Best decision ever to use the Black Thunder brand as a marketing tool for our station. Instant brand recognition and a fantastic association for our product.

Crazy to have dropped such an iconic piece of kit that still generates huge interest.

Our station has seen incredible growth since taking the trucks out and about across Somerset and it is actually making us money as they are sponsored.”


​​Managing Director, Pulse Radio

The concept was brough to the Uk by the GCAP group who used the brand as a marketing tool for 38 regional radio stations under their 'One Network'


The One Network was the collective name for thirty-eight regional Independent Local Radio licences operated by Gcap Media in theUnited Kingdom. It was formed from the combination of GWR Group's 'The Mix Network' and Capital Radio Group's 'The Capital Radio Network' when the companies merged in 2005. Its main regional radio network rival was the Big City Network, owned by Bauer Group.


It was announced in September 2008 that most of The One Network would be re-branded 'Heart', this being completed by June 2009 [1][2] with seven retaining their name as a new Hit Music Network, and Power FM becoming Galaxy South Coast, as part of the Galaxy Network. The One Network was subsequently folded into the Heart Network or The Hit Music Network, both owned by Global, and programming aligned accordingly.[3] In January 2011, the last remaining "heritage" radio stations owned by Global and operating as The Hit Music Network were merged with The Galaxy Network and rebranded under the Capital FM name becomingThe Capital FM Network.


The Origin of The One Network stems from the merger of GWR Group's The Mix Network and Capital Radio's Capital FM Network. On 1 August 2007 there was a change to the logo and sound of ex-Capital stations to harmonise with former GWR stations.

The One Network (previously 'The Mix Network') was created by GWR Group in attempt to create a national radio network on minimal cost by simulcasting the same programmes across all stations at off-peak times of day. All of GWR's networked stations used the same branding and presentation design, alongside similar slogans, initially "today's better music mix", later "today's best mix" and "the best mix of the 80s, 90s and today."


All centrally produced programming and playlists were broadcast from GWR FM Bristol (later Leicester Square, London at Capital FM's studios), and songs are broadcast simultaneously as neighbouring group stations, albeit with the exception of advertisements and local station identities/slogans, pre-recorded weather and brief social action or What's On inserts. Many avid listeners were disappointed by GWR's approach to networking programmes and reducing local content, but GWR felt that networking was the way forward and as a result, GWR gained much financial success, mainly due to the group's long held philosophy of heavily researching the average person's listening habits and tastes. Such practices were led by Group chairman Ralph Bernard, who oversaw the creation of the tightly formatted sound where popular Top 40 chart hits and ex-Top 40 songs are blended in with older hits. Despite the changes of schedule and management, the stations continue to be commercial market leader in the areas in which they operate. To increase the listener's perception of each station's local output,


GWR launched 'The Black Thunders', often Mitsubishi 4x4s that travel around local events promoting the station they were allocated to.

The Mix also ran for a short while as a station on its own nationally on Sky Digital taking the same format as the other stations, but was unsuccessful even though it was promoted on the FM stations.

A similar concept of syndicating programmes across local radio stations had previously been used by the Marcher Radio Group bouquet of stations, which eventually became part of The One Network. In addition to The One Network's networked programmes from Bristol, the Marcher stations simulcast many of its sub-regional programming throughout its four local licenses.



  • 2-Ten FM
  • 2CR
  • Trent FM
  • 96.9 Chiltern Radio
  • 97.6 Chiltern Radio
  • Beacon Radio 
  • Wirral's Buzz
  • Champion
  • Coast
  • Essex FM
  • Horizon Radio
  • GWR Bath
  • GWR Bristol
  • GWR Wiltshire
  • Gemini FM
  • Hereward FM
  • Lantern FM
  • Leicester Sound
  • Marcher Sound
  • Mercia
  • Mercury FM
  • Northants 96
  • Orchard FM
  • Plymouth Sound
  • Q103
  • Radio Broadland
  • RAM FM
  • SGR Colchester
  • SGR-FM
  • Severn Sound
  • South Hams Radio
  • Ten 17
  • Trent FM
  • Wyvern FM
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