Digital radio reception is being improved for over 330,000 people in the Sussex area – around Crawley, Newhaven, Heathfield and in the Sussex Weald, north of Shoreham.
A retune event took place Wednesday morning at the Jubilee Library in Brighton with the local Mayor.
Early in 2016 a further two digital transmitters will be added bringing over 40,000 listeners in Midhurst and Rye into DAB coverage and in August 2016 a sixth digital transmitter will add a further 50,000 listeners in Horsham.
This morning, the Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Councillor Lynda Hyde, pressed the big green retune switch at 8.45am to mark the moment for listeners to retune their DAB digital radios and start the process of turning on the new digital transmitters. The Mayor urged all digital listeners in Sussex to retune to ensure that they could continue to listen to BBC Sussex, Heart Sussex, Smooth Radio Sussex, Capital, Gold, KISSTORY, heat, Gaydio and Smile Sussex.
Councillor Lynda Hyde said: “The Sussex community is served by a great variety of local stations. I am delighted that now even more listeners in Sussex will be able to hear these important and well-loved stations on digital radio and encourage everyone to retune their radios this morning.”
There are also six extra DAB station on-air in Brighton at the moment on the mini-mux trial – Juice 107.2, RadioReverb, totallyradio, Smile Sussex, Resonance Extra and student station, URF Sussex.
Sara David, Editor, BBC Sussex, said: “BBC Sussex has been at the heart of life in the county for over 30 years and we’re proud to be one of BBC’s biggest local radio stations. We’re encouraging our listeners on DAB digital radio in Sussex to retune their digital radios this morning to ensure we can continue bringing them all the local news, sport, and entertainment they love.”
Iain McKenna, Regional Managing Director, Global Radio (South), said: “Global is home to the country’s biggest commercial radio brands, so we’re excited to bring Heart, Capital, Smooth and Gold to more people in Sussex on DAB digital radio. We know that our listeners love the great music we play and we want to make sure they retune to keep listening.”
Dee Ford, Group Managing Director Radio, Bauer Media, said: “We love digital radio here at Bauer with nine out of the top ten digital commercial stations in the UK being in our family and more station launches planned for next year. KISSTORY has rapidly become ONE of the UK’s most popular digital only brands with its Old Skool & Anthems, and heat radio delivers an all-star cast in the way of presenters, classic pop and celeb gossip – retune to join us.”
Ford Ennals, CEO Digital Radio UK, said: “Sussex leads most of the UK in terms of digital radio ownership and listening so it’s great news that over 300,000 more listeners will now be able to enjoy all their favourite local stations on DAB digital radio for the first time.”
Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, said: “The big digital radio retune is fantastic news for both listeners and local radio stations. With more than 30 million of us tuning in every week, and three quarters of all cars now coming with DAB as standard, there’s no doubt the future of radio in the UK is digital. Government is working closely with our partners on the expansion of DAB digital radio, bringing listeners around the UK greater access, better coverage and an even wider variety of content.”
Paul Eaton, Director of Digital Radio, Arqiva, said: “I am delighted that the local DAB coverage expansion programme is continuing with Sussex being the latest area to receive a digital boost. We look forward to playing our part in expanding local DAB coverage to the level of commercial radio FM coverage.”
In the photo:
Paul Eaton, Director of Digital Radio, Arqiva
Stuart Davies, Manging Editor Kent & Sussex, Global
John Adamson, Production Editor London & SE, BBC
Councillor Lynda Hyde, Mayor of Brighton
Mark Carter, Assistant Editor/Presenter, BBC Sussex
Ford Ennals, CEO, Digital Radio UK