GMG Radio group programme director John Simons has announced a major signing for his radio networks on stage at The Radio Festival this afternoon.
Former Capital breakfast presenter Chris Tarrant will host a new programme networked on eight regional stations. The signing will mark Tarrant’s first permanent radio show since leaving Capital in 2004.
The show will receive no shortage of coverage, with GMG going all out to broadcast their latest signing in every area they own a station. In markets where GMG owns two stations (or three), the Real or Century network will take the show.
Stations taking the show are Smooth Radio in London, the East and West Midlands, Real Radio in Wales, Scotland and Yorkshire, and Century Radio in the North East and North West of England.
Smooth Radio London is also on Freeview 718 and Sky Digital 0128, whilst Real Radio Wales can be heard nationally on Channel 0146.
Chris Tarrant said: “I have had a really long holiday from radio, but it is a fantastic medium that I have always loved, so I am delighted to be getting back onto the airwaves, and mercilessly I won't have to get up at 5am to do it!"
John Simons said: “We are delighted to have persuaded arguably commercial radio’s most successful broadcaster ever back behind the mic. Chris Tarrant is the perfect presenter to be pitted against Jonathan Ross on Saturday mornings and we have no doubt he’ll attract both the listeners that loved him before and a strong new audience to tune in.”
Addressing the Radio Festival in Glasgow, John said: "Immediately he's bringing more awareness to our radio stations – we've had a stream of national press enquiries this morning. It also demonstrates that we're serious about trying to compete with the BBC. There's no point in us whinging about the BBC doing their job well – we've got to do our job well too."
The Chris Tarrant Show has attracted a £1million 12-month sponsorship deal with Nissan Micra. Andy Connell is the marketing communications manager of Nissan, and is very please with the deal: “It's great to be sponsoring Chris' much anticipated return to the airwaves after his long break. The Nissan Micra will offer the show a series of exciting promotions and bespoke features to engage the audience, bringing a fresh, new approach to commercial radio.”