Virgin radio announces bid for west midlands licence

STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL MONDAY THE 12TH OF AUGUST 2002 VIRGIN RADIO ANNOUNCES BID FOR WEST MIDLANDS LICENCE Leading media company SMG plc today (9th August 2002) announced plans to launch VIRGIN RADIO in the West Midlands. SMG is currently developing a new regional format of the national station in a bid for the proposed West Midlands FM licence. The move is part of SMG's plans to extend the VIRGIN RADIO brand on a regional level. A station is also planned for Glasgow. The proposed "VIRGIN RADIO WEST MIDLANDS" station will maintain the rock- ethos of the national VIRGIN RADIO but will be entirely regionalised. All shows will be broadcast from the West Midlands by new local DJs. The station will play broad-based rock covering all the great eras of music from the Beatles, Hendrix and the Stones in the 60s, through Led Zeppelin, Queen and Guns 'n' Roses, the 90's Britpop giants Oasis and Blur, to today's nu-metal favourites including Linkin Park, Puddle of Mudd and Nickelback and mainstream rock giants such as Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Doves. The station will host a raft of specialist evening shows reflecting specific West Midlands' tastes including a new talent slot to showcase up and coming local bands. The format will focus heavily on live music and events at local pubs, bars and music venues. There will also be a "what's on section" with local gig and music guides presented by the area's most cutting-edge music journalists. Bobby Hain, Business Development Director, at SMG commented; "There is an enormous potential to roll out the VIRGIN RADIO brand on a regional level. We are currently developing the VIRGIN RADIO format to reflect specific West Midlands' tastes. "VIRGIN RADIO WEST MIDLANDS" will have a strong regional emphasis and we intend to incorporate live music and sessions from local venues, one-off music events and cutting- edge local presenters and artists into the format. VIRGIN RADIO already has a strong association with performance rock in the West Midlands through our involvement with the V Festivals and would like to develop this further" "Since its launch in 1993, VIRGIN RADIO has become the most successful national, commercial radio station in the UK. Its unique format of blending classic and contemporary rock music, merging over four decades has established the station with the unique VIRGIN identity and value. We aim to develop this further on a regional level. We are the only station committed to this unique brand of music and lifestyle and we believe there is an explosive potential to expand this ethos regionally." The West Midlands has a strong rock heritage with hugely successful acts such as Robert Plant, Ocean Colour Scene, Duran Duran and Ozzy Osbourne, hailing from the area. There is a clear love of rock music in the area evident by the amount of rock venues and clubs around but no West Midland station currently reflects this. The station's aim is to add diversity to the airwaves. Showcasing new local talent is a major part of the output of "VIRGIN RADIO WEST MIDLANDS". The station is set to embark upon a "Battle of The Bands" competition throughout the region and has teamed up with a major record label and local clubs to offer up and coming stars the opportunity to showcase their music and perhaps win a record deal. Artists will also have their material showcased on the "VIRGIN RADIO WEST MIDLANDS" web-site Another key element to the stations format will be local presenters and the station is setting-out to find the next "VIRGIN RADIO STARS" in a competition to be announced in local press next month. In order to get local businesses and individuals involved "VIRGIN RADIO WEST MIDLANDS" will be hosting a series of briefings throughout the area to get people's thoughts and ideas on the station. Bobby concluded: "Rock music is about passion, it's about individuality, it's about attitude. New bands and DJs will lead the way in this station and we're setting out to find the most explosive talent. It's time West Midlands' rock fans had a station that catered for them - we will provide them with what they want." ENDS For further press information please contact Margaret Murray/Gerard Franklin @ Frequency Media Tel: 0121-616-5174 or Fax: 0121-616-5175 Email: margaret@frequencypublicity.com; gerard@frequencypublicity.com; ------------------------------------------------------------ This information was brought to you by Waymaker http://www.waymaker.net The following files are available for download: http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2002/08/09/20020809BIT00550/wkr0001.doc http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2002/08/09/20020809BIT00550/wkr0002.pdf

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