GMG and Dee fight for Wales
Applications for the last analogue FM licence in the UK have appeared on the Ofcom website – and it's a battle between the shareholders of Dee 106.3 and GMG Radio.
The coverage area for the new station is approx 500,000 adults and will be broadcast on six transmitters – 88.0, 105.7, 107.0, 107.2, 107.7 and 107.9MHz.
Radio Glyndwr is taking the local approach, offering local programmes and local news 24 hours a day for the 35+ age group. Glyndwr's proposed studio would be based in England, sharing studio space with Dee 106.3 in Chester. The station will also appear on the three digital multiplexes which covers the TSA through the various multiplex shareholdings of its directors.
The application is backed by the directors of Dee 106.3, which includes Town and Country Broadcasting founder Jason Bryant, UTV managing director for ILR at UTV Chris Hurst and Dee 106.3 managing director Stef Roberts.
GMG Radio is proposing an extension of the Real Radio brand which already covers most of south Wales, targetting 25 to 54 year olds. The company hopes to benefit from the success of Real Radio Wales, and enjoys the financial backing of the Guardian Media Group. Real Radio is proposing to network 14 hours a day from Cardiff, with a local breakfast and drive time programme on weekdays, each of five hours in duration.
Real Radio's board of directors for the new licence includes GMG Radio chief executive John Myers, group programme director John Simons and managing director for GMG Radio North West Andy Carter. Andy was previously managing director for Real Radio Wales.
The area is already served by a number of local services, including Marcher, Coast and Champion. These stations will be re-branding to Heart by new owners Global Radio shortly – a point which is made clear in Dee 106.3's application, which wanted to illustrate the distinctiveness of what
they propose in comparison to any possible application by Real Radio.
The licence is expected to be awarded before Christmas, with the new service to start broadcasting with two years of the award.