Emap is to trial Kerrang! Radio in Manchester in preparation for the next swathe of available FM radio licences.
Kerrang! Radio will begin broadcasting on 97.6 FM in Manchester on February 18th and will be on air for a month playing music from across all classic and contemporary rock genres featuring artistes championed by Kerrang! magazine.
The Kerrang! radio format successfully won the West Midlands regional ILR FM licence in October last year beating competition from 10 other applicants.
It was the last FM licence available for the West Midlands region and covers the major conurbations of Birmingham and Wolverhampton as well as surrounding areas including parts of Warwickshire and Staffordshire. The adult population within the measured coverage area is around 3.4 million.
Shaun Gregory, Emap Performance?s director of development, said that Emap was keen to use RSLs (restricted service licences) to trial the Kerrang! format across the country in preparation for further licence tenders.
Ofcom recently announced that it would be offering at least 35 commercial radio licences in the next two years.
Mr Gregory said: ?Kerrang! proved to be the winning formula for the West Midlands licence and we are confident that there is an appetite for Kerrang! across the country.
?We see the use of RSLs (restricted service licences) around the country as an excellent way of trialing our formats and is a statement of intent that we will be pursuing new FM licences when they are advertised.?
The West Midlands analogue service, Kerrang! 105.2, will launch later this year. It will also become the hub of Kerrang! digital radio services which are available on DAB, cable and satelite, online and via Freeview. The latest radio listening figures (rajar Q4 2003) showed that 722,000 people tune into Kerrang! digital radio every week.