Guardian to launch new radio station in Manchester

Guardian Media Group is set to launch a music and talk radio station in its home town, Manchester.

Broadcast regulator Ofcom has awarded the Manchester FM radio licence to RockTalk, which will provide local news and discussion alongside guitar-based music for 35 to 64-year-olds.

Today’s announcement sees the Guardian Media Group’s network of radio stations expand even further, following its acquisition of three Saga Radio stations earlier this year.

The group already runs two radio stations in Manchester – Smooth FM and Century – as well as the Manchester Evening News.

In its application to Ofcom for the licence, GMG pledged the station would operate a 24-hour local newsroom, and that speech content would not fall below 60 per cent of RockTalk’s output during peak time. 

race to bring a new radio station to Manchester was hotly contested,
with 11 applicants submitting bids, including Chrysalis, Emap and the Canadian broadcasting giant CanWest.

Chrysalis applied with GMBC, a Manchester version of its London news and talk station, LBC.

Emap, which owns Key 103 and Magic in the city, applied with a talk radio format similar to the one which won the Liverpool licence last year.

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