Magazine article Gramophone

ANNIVERSARY AWARD: WINNER Classic FM

Magazine article Gramophone

ANNIVERSARY AWARD: WINNER Classic FM

Article excerpt

When Classic FM's Managing Editor, Sam Jackson, receives Gramophone's special Anniversary Award (given to mark the 40th anniversary of the Gramophone Classical Music Awards) at the ceremony on September 13, the station will have just marked a special anniversary of its own: 25 years of national broadcasting in the UK (as one of only three independent national radio stations). It launched on September 7, 1992, and has become, in that quarter century, one of the most significant broadcasters in this country, with a weekly reach of 5.8 million listeners, 1.2 million of whom are under 35. Classic FM has become the world's biggest classical music brand on Facebook, with videos there watched by around 17 million people every month. Two thirds of those who 'like' Classic FM on Facebook are also under 35 and it shares more of its audience with Radio 1 than Radio 3, again showing its significant role in developing younger audiences for classical music. Whatever their age, though, more people listen to classical music on Classic FM than via any other broadcast medium.

It would be foolish to argue that Classic FM and Gramophone are a natural fit--our broadcast 'mirror image' is clearly BBC Radio 3--but it would be equally foolish to underestimate Classic FM's role in the musical life of this country. Supporting live music-making is not a requirement of a national radio station but Classic FM backs up its role as a national broadcaster by engaging with live music up and down the country. …

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