Virgin Radio hires Outside for breakfast show war

The Outside Organisation has seen off London’s top entertainment and music PR agencies to secure a deal to promote the launch of Christian O’Connell’s breakfast show on Virgin Radio.

The station is to back the launch of the former Xfm DJ's show with a major marketing push. It has briefed Outside to woo listeners
to O'Connell's programme, which starts on 23 January.

O'Connell replaces Pete & Geoff in Virgin's breakfast slot. The duo run the third most popular commercial radio breakfast show in
London, behind those of Johnny Vaughan (Capital) and Jamie Theakston (Heart), according to Rajar.

Outside will help the Scottish Media Group-owned station boost listener numbers by promoting its other DJs and its presence at music events. It will also handle brand PR.

Outside deputy head of press Vicki Brookes leads the account. She joined the agency just over 18 months ago from Capital FM, a fierce rival to Virgin.

The choice of Outside is also intriguing because it was brought in last year to promote Heart 106.2FM (PRWeek, 2 April 2004). Outside no longer works for Heart, another Virgin rival.

Two months ago Virgin Radio welcomed Fru Hazlitt, a former MD of Yahoo! UK and Ireland, as its new CEO. It is believed Hazlitt oversaw the appointment of Outside alongside the station's PR head Simon Horne.

Events in which Virgin Radio is involved range from the V Festival to the annual Teenage Cancer Trust gigs at London's Royal Albert Hall.
Virgin Radio retains Eulogy! to handle trade PR.

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