A new FM licence for Bristol is set to be advertised by Ofcom in March this year, with an award date around September. The city already has two dedicated commercial radio stations, GCap Media’s GWR FM and UKRD’s Star 107.2FM.
One of the applicants for the new licence is Absolute Radio International Ltd (ARI) who have joined forces with Town and Country Broadcasting Ltd (T&C) to create a joint bid.
The new licence, broadcasting on 106.5 FM, will cover the city of Bristol and the surrounding area, including Chipping Sodbury and Keynsham and could be on-air by the spring of 2007.
The relationship between the broadcasters combines ARI?s experience in competitive urban markets, with T&C?s existing operations in South Wales and the West for a unique new approach to local radio in the west of England?s largest city. Bristol is currently served by local radio stations owned by GCap, UKRD, UBC and Emap, which mainly target the younger end of the market.
Clive Dickens – Programme & Operations Director of ARI told RadioToday.co.uk: ?ARI has carried out initial analysis of the Bristol radio market and we have commissioned a full market consumer study to pinpoint the best new format for the market. Existing local commercial services achieve less than 30% of all listening in Bristol, with the BBC more dominant in the city than across similar markets in the UK. Our track record and expertise in competitive markets will serve us well in launching a successful new station for Bristol.
Jason Bryant ? CEO of Town & Country added: ?Audience figures confirm that radio in Bristol is owned by the BBC, which enjoys a mighty 63.5% share of all radio listening. This vibrant city deserves better from its local commercial radio stations. Fresh from our win in Swansea, and our commitment to better local radio, we look forward to bringing something new, distinctive and innovative to Bristol with our friends at Absolute Radio.?