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Thursday, 7th June

DRg bag the third local DAB radio licence for London

DRg (Digital Radio Group) has been revealed as the winner of London's third local digital radio licence. The radio consortium, backed by media companies such as The Wireless Group plc, SMG plc, Time Out Ltd and The Carphone Warehouse plc, will begin broadcasting in December 2001.

DRg's line-up promises nine brand new stations for England's capital city, and will bring two existing radio stations onto DAB digital radio, offering clearer reception and high quality sound:

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  • Abracadabra : radio for children and teenagers (Soundstart radio networks Ltd.)

  • Liquid : current chart music (Virgin Radio Ltd.)

  • SBN London (Student Broadcast Network) : student radio (Channelfly plc)

  • The Storm : modern rock music (GWR Digital Ltd.)

  • Passion : adult melodic music and speech (Passion for the Planet Ltd.)

  • The Arrow : soft rock music (Chrysalis Group plc)

  • Ritz : Country and Irish music (RMG plc)

  • Purple Radio : Gay (Clubmend Ltd.)

  • TAP : music and features for young Asians (Asian Sound Ltd.)

  • Time Out : London's entertainment and going out guide (Time Out Ltd.)

  • Choice : Urban and soul music (Soul Media Ltd.)

Passion will begin broadcasting in the new year.

The Labour peer and entrepreneur. Waheed Ali, who led the consortium to win the latest digital multiplex service for London, said:

"DRg is delighted to be awarded this licence, and will aspire to enfranchise the minorities, such as children, gays, students and many more. The range of services that will now be available to the 8.5 million potential audience are second to none...and will attract a whole new generation of young people to radio."

Children's broadcasting campaigner Susan Stranks said:

"We are absolutely delighted that, after years of campaigning for children's rights to the radio spectrum, they can now enjoy the magic of this wonderful medium throughout London. We aim to spread the 'Abracadabra' format far and wide."

The shareholding in The Digital Radio Group is split as follows:

GWR Group plc 20% / The Wireless Group plc 20% / SMG plc 10% / Matsushita Electric Europe Ltd. 10% / RMG (Ritz Media Group) plc 10% / Carphone Warehouse plc 6% / Asian Sound Ltd. 6% / Clubmend Ltd. 6% / Channelfly plc 6% / Time Out Ltd. 6%

Related links:
MXR and London Digital Radio Ltd were the other applicants for the licence
London's station listings
Sony and Videologic DAB home tuners reviewed
Our guide to digital radio with FAQs
The Digital Radio Group (DRg) website

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