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New Manchester Licence Applicant: Channel M Radio

Guardian Media Group Radio is today announcing that it is planning the first 24-hour news and talk station for Manchester.

The station will be called Channel M Radio and will provide the city with its first 24-hour talk station if GMG Radio?s bid for the new broadcasting licence is successful.

Already renowned for its award winning news teams, GMG Radio will appoint a team of journalists and presenters and utilise the extensive resources of the Manchester Evening News and Channel M Television in the City.

In November, industry regulator Ofcom will advertise the licence, which will broadcast to over 2.3m adults across Manchester. If successful, the new station is expected to launch in 2005 and will house a staff of over 20 journalists.

The Guardian Media Group is at the heart of news gathering in Manchester and its long heritage puts it in an extremely strong position to produce a quality talk station dedicated to the news, sport, views and opinions and lifestyles of people in Manchester. GMG Radio executives are already successful with speech formats. GMG Radio Chief Executive John Myers launched the successful Century and Real Radio brands where 40% of the output is speech related while John Simons, who was awarded the Sony award for Programming of the Year was formerly the Programme Director of Talk Radio where he achieved the largest audiences in the stations history.

John Myers said: ?Our research shows that there is a huge variety of music led stations in Manchester but not one single commercial speech station is on the dial in the region. By pooling the extensive journalistic resources of the Guardian Media Group in Manchester, and adding expertise and additional talent, we are the only group with the capacity to successfully operate a talk format station for this city.?

GMG Radio currently owns five regional stations across the UK, including 100.4 Smooth FM in the North West.

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