Global Radio is to scrap the Galaxy Network, Red Dragon FM, Trent FM, Leicester Sound and Ram FM and rebrand all stations as Capital FM.
The new nine-station “Capital Network” will launch on January 3rd 2011 when all programmes with the exception of breakfast and drive will originate from Leicester Square, London.
Founder and Global Group CEO, Ashley Tabor told RadioToday.co.uk that only a “handful” of presenters will lose their jobs as a result of this move, which he describes as one of the biggest events to happen in UK commercial radio.
He said: “Since Global was created we have prided ourselves on being an industry innovator. The formation of the new Capital Network represents another huge innovation from Global Radio, taking an established, trusted and loved brand and extending it across the UK to create a true national network of stations reaching 6.3m with a clear hit music proposition.”
Local presenters on Trent, Ram, Red Dragon and Leicester Sound, plus some Galaxy presenters are affected by the changes. Global Radio is offering positions in London for staff affected at the network hub in Leeds. Split links will be used by all London presenters outside of breakfast and drivetime to keep local content on the regional and local stations.
Capital FM will replace the six Galaxy stations operating in Scotland, South Coast, Birmingham, and Manchester, Yorkshire and North East as well as the current Hit Music Network stations Red Dragon, Trent, RAM and Leicester Sound.
It means former Capital FM sister stations such as BRMB will now compete directly with the new network, and Bauer's Big City Network faces stiffer competition in markets such as Leeds and Manchester.
From 2011 the network will be known as “95 – 106 Capital FM, The UK’s No.1 Hit Music Station” but the stations will ID locally as [freq] Capital FM but local news hours will be extended and local advertising will remain locally sold.
Global Radio has only just completed a similar programme of creating Heart as a national brand, closing 20 locations and merging them with nearby stations to create larger single stations.