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Wednesday, 26th June 2002
London AM readvertisement draws 8 applications

Liberty Radio may be facing a struggle to hold onto its licence following the news that seven other companies have lodged applications with the radio regulator to run a station for London. The station's licence is up for renewal from July 2003.

The applications include those from operators that have already launched stations on local DAB digital radio in London. Abracadabra and Tap are two such services that are currently airing on DAB radio. The first, a station appealing to children and their carers, is also due to appear on several other local DAB multiplexes across the UK.

                            Tap, a station for young Asians, is also up against newcomer Asian Talk Radio, which aims to provide a mainly speech-based service for the capital. A third Asian service, Club Asia, wants to provide an urban and contemporary music service for England's capital city. Planet AM is also pitching its output at young Asians, with hip-hop and soul included as part of its music mix.

Leicester-based station Takeover Radio is another original service being offered for children, combining pop music with schools' programmes.

Oldies and easy-listening service Saga Radio is also keen to bag the licence for listeners over the age of 50 in London.

Viva 963, the forerunner to station Liberty 963, was set up to appeal specifically to a female audience. In 1996 it switched ownership and relaunched. Its current owners acquired the station in Summer 2000.

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