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Absolute takes the Passion away

After six hours of Eugene Sully playing non-stop Mana Mana from The Muppets, Oxford's FM 107.9 has launched. Previously known as Passion 107.9, the station was acquired by Absolute Radio International in June, and has spent the past three months asking Oxford consumers and advertisers about what they want from the station and what it can do better.

The re-launch includes a full re-branding and a strategic marketing/promotional campaign. New landmark programmes, including extended local news output and specialist programming, will feature and a new website, which currently has over 800,000 monthly hits is all part of the plan.

Ian Walker, Oxford?s FM107.9 General Manager, says: ?The clear message from Oxford consumers and advertisers was that they wanted new, fresh and exciting radio and this is what Oxford?s FM 107.9 will deliver. It?s a very exciting time for the station as it seeks to build from its current best ever audience and grow significantly for the future.?

The station has a potential audience of 250,000 in the city of Oxford, and recently reported its highest ever audience with a regular monthly reach of 53,000 and a total weekly reach of 33,000 according to 4+ Rajar Q2:06 four weekly. The re-launch reflects ARI?s express commitment when it acquired the station to bring it to new heights through investment in the brand, talent and programming.

ARI is building a strong presence in UK local radio through both acquisitions and applications. It has applied for the new Oxford and South Oxfordshire FM licence, which will be awarded by Ofcom in October, with its new Jack FM format. Jack FM is targeted to appeal to older adults (35-54) and will be Oxfordshire?s variety music station. ARI is also an applicant for new FM licences in Bristol, Liverpool and Manchester.

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