MEDIA: London radio bids underway’

Competition is expected to be strong for the new FM Independent Local Radio (ILR) licence for Greater London and the surrounding area, advertised this week.

Competition is expected to be strong for the new FM Independent Local

Radio (ILR) licence for Greater London and the surrounding area,

advertised this week.



The licence, which will reach nearly six million people, will use the

104.9MHz frequency previously used by Melody Radio and is expected to be

the last major radio licence to be issued for London.



Several of the companies which applied for the last round of licences

are expected to re-apply including Choice, XFM, the GWR Group which has

previously applied to run a business programming format, and London

Student Radio.



As PR Week went to press no one at these stations was available to

comment.



The licence is being advertised only weeks after the Radio Advertising

Bureau released figures showing that radio is still the UK’s fast

growing advertising media with ad revenue up year-on-year by 22.7 per

cent to pounds 270.2 million.



A decision by the Radio Authority is expected to be made in October with

a station expected to be on air within the following nine months. A

Radio Authority spokesperson says the licence will be awarded to a

company which can provide programming not currently offered in London.



The new licence will take the current number of commercial radio

stations in the capital to 19, excluding national stations Talk, Virgin

and Classic. Five of the 19 - Choice in Brixton, RTM in Thamesmead,

London Greek Radio and London Turkish Radio in Haringey and the new

licence - will only cover pockets of London.



Melody moved from its 104.9 frequency because of interference with

reception in south west London.



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