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GMG appoint Deputy Group PD

James Rea has been appointed as GMG Radio’s first ever Deputy Group Programme Director as the group restructures its senior programming team.

Group Programme Operations Director Mark Matthews will become Real Radio Brand Programme Director.

James was previously Group Editorial Director, overseeing the news teams for Real, Smooth and Rock Radio. We’re told his new role will see him support Group PD John Simons in the ‘strategic development of on-air content’ for the three brands, which attract a combined audience of over 5 million listeners a week. James will continue to be responsible for GMG’s news output and special broadcasts but will be given the job of developing new partnerships in the digital arena to extend the group’s content to new audiences.

James has a long history with GMG Radio, joining prior to the launch of its first station in 2001 to establish a news operation, which has since developed into a Sony Gold award winning news team.

Mark Matthews’ new role will see him be responsible for ensuring consistency on-air sound and presentation across the five station Real Radio network. GMG say he will work with the regional PDs in each station to ensure the Real brand continues to deliver programming that’s core to its ‘feel good’ proposition. Mark joined the group as Head of Presentation in 2007 from The Local Radio Company and in his new role will work alongside Steve Collins, who holds the Brand PD role for sister brand Smooth Radio.

Group Programme Director John Simons told RadioToday.co.uk: “James and Mark have played a key role in the development and direction of our on-air brands in recent years and their new roles enhance senior programming support across the business and enable us to look at new opportunities to extend our content beyond our on-air services, at a time when our content is nominated for, and winning, more awards than ever before.”

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