Magazine article Marketing

Free Rein on Format for Second National Station

Magazine article Marketing

Free Rein on Format for Second National Station

Article excerpt

The Radio Authority has declared an open field for applications for the UK's second independent national radio station.

Chairman Lord Delfont told a press conference on Tuesday that any format--talk or music--will be accepted as long as it differs from Classic FM, which already holds the first national licence.

"We wanted to widen it as much as possible," says Lord Chalfont. "This is a less desirable frequency--so we are opening it to anyone."

The licence will be awarded to the highest bidder who passes the quality threshold. Unlike INR1, the Authority will publish the size of bids "as our contribution to Glasnost" when applications close on February 4.

It has also imposed stricter financial controls to stop a repeat of the INR1 award when the Show-time consortium was provisionally awarded the licence--only to fail to come up with its funding in time. This time round, applicants will need to have most of their funding in place before they apply.

It is expected that applications will be mainly for music formats. Given the economic climate, mass appeal pop music is the most commercially attractive option. And the Advertising Association predicts spending on radio will recover to an 8% rise in real terms next year. …

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