Ofcom has started the consulation process to gather views on GMG Radio's latest Format change request. As previously reported, GMG wants to remove 45 hours a week of jazz music from both Smooth Radio in the north west and London in return for providing a digital jazz station.
However, Ofcom say any request to 'swap' jazz from FM to DAB must be delt with seperately as legislation requires the regulator to consider the proposed changes to Smooth Radio on a stand-alone basis
Consideration of these changes cannot be linked to any possible future request from GMG to launch a jazz station on DAB, Ofcom said today.
In additional to wanting to remove 45 hours a week of pure jazz music, which is only played overnight, GMG wishes to remove the obligation in the north west to play “jazz, soul, blues and R&B” as part of its general output. This would be the final step to bring the once soul-based station in to line with its five sister stations acorss the UK.
In other news, it is still anticipated that GCap Media's theJazz will close on the national Digital One multiplex at the end of March as part of a cost-cutting exercise.