Ofcom has awarded the new Liverpool FM radio licence to Emap's all-talk station, City Talk.
The station will provide 24-hour news, features and discussion to an audience of more than 1.5 million adults in the city.
In its application to Ofcom, Emap said: "CityTalk will not be dominated
with what is often seen as cheap phone-in programmes. Its structure
will not rely on the whims of callers. CityTalk will [also] carefully
avoid the ambulance-chasing, ‘we were first on the scene' approach."
Emap is no stranger to the Liverpool radio scene — it already runs two
stations in the city, Radio City and Magic, from the iconic St John's
Beacon in the city centre. City Talk would share these premises.
Emap's bid for the Liverpool FM licence was overseen by former Sunday Express and ITV journalist, Terry Smith.
Smith said: “We are delighted at the news and it will give a great boost to
the services our two stations, Radio City and Magic, already provide
“The new station will be 100 per cent speech and
nothing like any existing service in the UK. It will tackle real issues
and real emotions through the eyes of real people.
“We knew we
were being radical in our application and applaud Ofcom for recognising
our vision. Work on the project starts tomorrow when we shall start looking
for people who want to be part of something absolutely new."
The Liverpool licence race was hotly contested, with 10 broadcasters submitting bids and speech radio proving a popular choice of format.
CityTalk is only the second all-talk station to win a licence in more than
In February, UTV Radio launched Talk 107, a 24-hour talk
station in Edinburgh – but initial Rajar figures have
suggested the format has been slow to take off and is a long way from
reaching its first-year target.