Radio regulator Ofcom has explained why the last FM licence in the UK was awarded to GMG, which plans to extend Real Radio South Wales to cover the rest of the country.
Two applications were received by Ofcom, with the other coming from Dee 106.3 in Chester, England. Dee proposed a 24 hour local service of the TSA of over half a million adults, but broadcasting from its current studio base in England as Radio Glyndwr.
GMG, owner of Real Radio, proposed a virtual extension of Real Radio South Wales to an extra 600,000 adults covered by the new licence, but with a base in Wrexham and a local breakfast (5am – 10am) and drivetime (2pm – 7pm) show on weekdays.
Ofcom agreed with the proposal, which meets the regulator’s guideline minima for locally-produced programming of 10 hours per day (weekdays) and four hours per day at the weekends. The RLC believed "the plan to carry locally-produced output from Wrexham during daytime hours and to share output with Real Radio South Wales at most other times was a realistic and economically viable one that would provide listeners with locally-produced output at the times when the applicant’s research showed it was most desired".
The provision of substantial start-up funding from parent company GMG Radio, via an interest-free inter-company loan, reassured members of the Radio Licensing Committee that the applicant has the ability to sustain its service throughout the 12 year licence period.
The station will use at least six frequencies, 88.0, 105.7, 107.0, 107.2, 107.7 and 107.9MHz.
[i]The [link=http://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.4163]win[/link] for GMG Radio was a personal landmark for CEO John Myers who helped win GMG's first regional radio licence 10 years ago, and now, as head of the UK's third largest radio group, the rest of Wales will also be able to hear the station on FM. John steps down from his position in April to enjoy semi-retirement. [/i]