12 radio stations offer bids for Scottish licence

Twelve bids have been received by Ofcom for the east central Scotland FM radio licence.

The contenders are SAGA FM; Sunrise Radio’s Time FM; Emap’s Castle FM; Celador’s 4LIFE FM; Red 107FM – a joint venture between Scottish Media Group and Kingdom Radio; Chrysalis Radio’s The Arrow; SMG’s Virgin Classic Rock; Wireless Group’s Dunedin FM; CN Group’s Citybeat Edinburgh; Guardian Media Group’s Smooth FM; Forth 3, which is backed by Scottish Radio Holdings; and GWR’s 107FM The Rock.

All 12 applications are aimed at older listeners.

Only two bids are purely speech – Forth 3, with an output of news, politics and business, and Dunedin FM, which is purely talk, with a local emphasis.

Castle FM, which has backing from Emap (20 per cent), Scotsman Publications (10 per cent) and Andrew Neil (10 per cent), is committed to a minimum of 20 per cent speech in daytime, and Guardian Media Group’s Smooth FM will play general music, and feature talk for 50 to 65-year-olds.

Saga FM, which won the Glasgow FM licensing round last year, and the others – except for The Rock, The Arrow, Red FM and Citybeat, who are all classic rock specialists – are different combinations of generalist music and speech.

The winner will be announced in December, for a licence which will run for 12 years.

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