Two media figures who have both run major radio stations serving Shropshire have linked up in a bid to launch a new commercial station, Extra FM, in Shrewsbury and Oswestry, as members of a strong media and business consortium.
Extra FM chairman Roger Brooks was Managing Director of Beacon Radio for six years, spending a further two years as chairman. His business partner and fellow board member is Tony Fish, former Managing Editor of BBC Radio Shropshire. They got together three years ago to launch a new company, Shrewsbury Radio Ltd, to plan ahead for an independent and community-based commercial station in the area.
The licensing authority, Ofcom, is now inviting applications for a new Shrewsbury and Oswestry service.
The main Extra FM investor, The Radio Business, was set up five years ago to create and support new commercial radio stations, and has recent licence successes with Abbey FM in Barrow-on-Furness and The Bee in Blackburn. Its Extra FM board representative is co-founder and chief executive, Lynn Bell, one of the UK?s leading radio executives.
Her board colleagues include Tom Beesley, one of the founders of Radio Horizons Ltd, which provides financial backing and professional expertise to high-quality applicant groups. He was formerly responsible for BBC Midlands regional television services across more than a dozen counties, including Shropshire, and is national chairman of the Broadcast Journalism Training Council.
Completing the board is Marlen Roberts, Managing Director of the business publisher, Newsco Insider Ltd, another substantial Extra FM shareholder. Newsco?s Insider magazine has a wide circulation area, including Shrewsbury and Oswestry.
Announcing Extra FM?s application, Roger said: ?We have impeccable financial credentials, excellent local backing and a formidable line-up of media and business directors who together have more than 60 years? experience of creating and managing commercial radio stations.
?Extra FM offers a true broadening of listener choice — a music and speech station with its unique point of difference the strength of its commitment to providing locally-focused news and community information to listeners in the Shrewsbury and Oswestry area.?
Other contenders for the licence are expected to be Shrewsbury FM owned by MNA (publishers of the Shrophire Star) and Shrewsbury Local Radio (backed by Laser Broadcasting).