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Heart’s Jason Donovan joins Smooth FM

Jason Donovan is to be part of the weekend line-up of two soon-to-be relaunched stations in his native Australia.

smoothfm 95.3 in Sydney and smoothfm 91.5 in Melbourne will launch on 21st May under the guidance of former Capital and Virgin Radio boss Paul Jackson.

Jackson, the son of Global Radio’s Richard Park, joined DMG Radio Australia as Group Programme Director in 2010.

The group has been running the stations as simply Sydney’s 95.3 and Melbourne’s 91.5 recently, but they have both been known in recent years as Classic Rock and Vega. Our friends at Radio Today Australia recently broke the news that they looked likely to rebrand as Smooth.

DMG cites Magic in London, Coast FM in Auckland and Lite FM in New York as success stories around the world for soft, adult contemporary format stations.

Paul Jackson said: “When you live in world class cities like Sydney and Melbourne, life can be pretty hectic. smoothfm, with a playlist including the greatest hits and contemporary easy listening music, will be a place for listeners to tune in and forget the hassles of the day, a great place to relax and unwind.”

Donovan – who is part of the Heart weekend line-up here in the UK – will present a weekend show on smoothfm in Australia. It has also just been announced that Jason will be on the next tour of Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds later this year and he’s joining Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber on the judging panel for a new ITV reality show to find the star of a production of musical Jesus Christ Superstar. The new radio shows in Australia are unlikely to affect his UK radio work with Global Radio’s Heart network.

smoothfm in Sydney and Melbourne will use the slogan ‘More Music and Less Talk’ and will have local breakfast and drivetime shows but networked programmes at other times.

DMG Radio Australia CEO Cathy O’Connor said: “A major launch of a new radio brand is incredibly exciting not just for DMG Radio Australia, but for the whole industry. It underlines the vibrancy of commercial radio across the country and its importance in our lives. We’ve identified a gap in the market for a music position that is unique in the Sydney and Melbourne radio landscape and we’re confident that listeners will embrace smoothfm. DMG Radio Australia now has a comprehensive portfolio to go into market. smoothfm, when combined with the Nova Network, will provide an incredible offering to both the under and over 40s with enormous revenue opportunities for the company.”

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