Dee 106.3 and 107.6 Juice FM have joined forces to bid for the new digital radio multiplex serving North East Wales and West Cheshire. The owners of these stations have teamed up with Town & Country Broadcasting and MuxCo to create MuxCo North East Wales and West Cheshire Ltd.
If successful, MuxCo North East Wales and West Cheshire propose to launch local DAB digital radio in August 2008, carrying digital simulcasts of six popular local services and increasing local choice with three new digital only stations.
– Marcher Sound
– Classic Gold Marcher
– 107.6 Juice FM
– Dee 106.3
– BBC Wales
– BBC Cymru
– Wales Live – a new service playing classic hits and providing a comprehensive news and speech service
– JACK fm – playing quality popular pop, rock and classic rock music
– Easy Radio – an easy listening music service
MuxCo North East Wales and West Cheshire is led by Gregory Watson, the former Corporate Development Director at GCAP Media plc. The vision of the company is to provide opportunities for local radio companies to participate in DAB digital radio and to enhance local radio listening through investment in new services.
Gregory Watson says: "DAB is the industry's chosen digital radio platform. After the introduction of national, regional and big city digital multiplexes, we feel that it is essential that smaller local operators have the opportunity to participate in ownership and production in this stage of local radio development."
"DAB penetration in UK households is increasing significantly and we feel that North East Wales and West Cheshire deserve new services rather than just the simulcast of existing local or semi-national group brands. With new services of Wales Live, Easy Radio and JACK fm, alongside very popular existing services, we feel we have a unique strategy for the region."
Jason Bryant, Chief Executive of Town & Country and a director of Dee 106.3, says: "This multiplex application addresses many of the issues that face all stations. We are happy to support this application which brings our services higher quality audio, better coverage and a lower price."
It is anticipated that the licence will be awarded by Ofcom in September 2007.
Rivals and largest local digital radio multiplex operator, NOW Digital, is also likely to have made a bid for this licence. This is MuxCo's second application for local DAB licences in the UK, following the recent bid for the Herts, Beds and Bucks multiplex licence.
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