Ofcom has selected Manchester as one of ten locations in the UK to trial the next generation of digital radio. The 9-month pilot will allow six new digital radio stations to be heard across the city including Manchester Business Radio (MBR).
MBR’s Managing Director, David Duffy, said ‘Manchester is the logical choice for Britain’s first dedicated business radio station. It’s was the birthplace of industry and innovation, and has become a world-class city attracting start-ups and established business. We are delighted that Ofcom has recognised this and look forward to working with the business community and launching Manchester Business Radio in the next few weeks’.
DAB digital radio has, historically, been the preserve of big organisations like the BBC and the major commercial radio groups. Critics have suggested that this is one of the reasons why the growth of digital radio in the UK has been so slow. Now, though, Ofcom is looking at ways in which stations with new formats may be able to join them.
Manchester Business Radio’s Director of Programming and Content, John Evington, explained the station’s ethos: ‘We aim to reach and connect with anyone in Manchester involved in running a business or looking to start out in business. We’ll celebrate the achievements and success stories and offer a unique media platform to the city’s key opinion-formers and business leaders. Our ambition is to become the essential source of news, views, opinions, ideas and inspiration for Manchester’s business community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.’
The station will be based at the heart of Manchester’s business district on Deansgate and will be working closely with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce to ensure that the needs of the business sector are fully met.
In addition to MBR, The Company plans to bring Oldham based Revolution, Gaydio, aimed at the Gay community, the Asian National Commercial Radio Station Punjabi, Chris Country, dedicated to American country music and the Steve Penk wind up channel.
More details can be found here: www.manchesterbusinessradio.co.uk. Manchester Business Radio is expected to launch on DAB Digital Radio in early September.