DAB Digital Radio news round up:
Community and DJs unhappy at loss of Choice
This weekend has seen protests outside Global Radio's headquarters following the rebrand of Choice FM to Capital Xtra after DJ's who used to broadcast reggae and gospel were dropped following a change in the station's playlist.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday, Steve Philips, one of the sacked DJs said Choice "was born to serve the community". "The community is very upset about this." The DJ argued that the station was issued a licence to serve the Afro-Caribbean/Black community in London, which it was now neglecting.
James Cridland from Media UK said that "specialist programmes don't necessarily deliver a consistent sound, which is why Capital Xtra is removing some of these specialist shows".
With the rebrand to Capital Xtra, the station went nationwide on national DAB digital radio. Global Radio, Capital Xtra's owner, told the Today programme that it had received positive feedback on the station.
Digital 2 multiplex on the way?
The Sunday Telegraph reports that "The Government will announce a major expansion of commercial digital radio
this month, in spite of missing targets towards a switchover to the digital
format from FM."
Despite no digital radio switchover date being announced for the forseeable future, the expansion will come through the re-advertisment of the Digital 2 DAB multiplex licence, which will see an extra national commercial digital radio multiplex able to launch alongside the existing Digital 1 multiplex, which is now full.
Potential bidders for the new licence, according to the article, are Bauer (Kiss, Magic, Absolute) and Global (Classic FM, Heart, Capital, Gold). Both commercial radio operators have recently added spin-off stations on the existing Digital 1 multiplex, but some listeners have complained of poor audio quality, with some stations operating in mono, with no extra capacity available to improve audio bitrates.
The licence for Digital 2 was originally awarded to consortium including Channel 4. Channel 4 had planned to launch a commercial station to rival Radio 4, before abandoning plans in 2007.