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GCap to launch Jazz station

A new national jazz service is set to launch on Digital One, the national digital radio platform operated by GCap Media. The new station will be a jazz-led service playing a selection of jazz, soul, blues and R ‘n’ B, from both heritage and contemporary artists. Speech will include information relevant to the audience. 15% speech maximum; 100% music maximum.

The news comes as Ofcom approves a variation to the Digital One national radio multiplex licence to provide a ‘Classic and Contemporary Jazz’ digital sound programme service (DSPS), instead of an Easy Listening' DSPS, previously provided by PrimeTime Radio.

The only other national jazz service the UK has ever had, jazzfm.com, was removed from satellite earlier this year and is now only available online.

Primarily targeting the commercially attractive 35+ ABC1 demographic, the new GCap Media station will fill the gap in the market for a jazz-only station. GCap say feedback from listeners and market research point to a strong demand for this format and believes that such a service is best delivered on a national platform where the station can generate significant audience.

GCap Media has a strong track record in extending the appeal of niche music formats to wider audiences and maximising their commercial potential. Classic FM is now the UK’s largest commercial radio station with 6.2 million listeners* and has its own TV station, magazine and website as well as a series of popular concerts and best-selling CDs.

The new station will operate as a sister service to Classic FM, and the similar target audience of the two stations will create cross promotion and endorsement opportunities for both. The stations will also work in tandem to provide advertisers with greater access to the ABC1 demographic and to further GCap Media’s strategy of targeting listeners to BBC Radio 2, Radio 3 and Radio 4.

Darren Henley, Station Manager for Classic FM, will be responsible for the new station.

He said: “We want to do for jazz what we’ve done for classical music at Classic FM. The service will be programmed in a similar style to Classic, treating jazz with the respect it deserves while making it accessible to people who enjoy jazz but may never have been able to listen to specialist jazz programmes before.”

The new station will launch towards the end of 2006 and will be based in Leicester Square.

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