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Bauer to launch new national radio station
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Bauer to launch new national radio station

Bauer Media have today unveiled plans for a brand new national digital radio station set to launch on 4th June 2018. Hits Radio will have a fresh and exciting line-up featuring Gethin Jones, Gemma Atkinson and Sarah-Jane Crawford and will be the first major national commercial digital radio station to broadcast out of Manchester offering a genuine alternative to what is currently in the market. Broadcasting from the regions, to the rest of the UK, it will offer a unique mix of both national and local audience targeting for commercial partners using smart broadcasting technology.

Aimed at a national family-focused audience aged 25-44, Hits Radio will give listeners an entertaining and fun escape, delivered by authentic presenters with great, relatable banter and a brilliant playlist. The station’s core values are built around warmth, a love of life, family and friendship, community spirit and a sense of fun. This will be accompanied by a soundtrack of the biggest hits of the day as well as treasured favourites, featuring artists such as Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Little Mix, Ellie Goulding, Rag N Bone Man, P!nk, Craig David, Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, Coldplay and Katy Perry to name a just a few..

The station will have a sparkling new national Breakfast Show hosted by Gethin Jones, who is best known for his TV work including Blue Peter, Strictly star Gemma Atkinson and Dave Vitty (Comedy Dave from BBC Radio 1’s Chris Moyles Show). The show promises to be a great combination of relatable real life conversation, brilliant banter and great music. Drivetime will be hosted by Wes Butters and the station will have an evening show fronted by Sarah-Jane Crawford (The Xtra Factor) – a destination for early evening radio listening across the UK with celebrity guests and topical updates from the day.

This launch will see Hits Radio become the flagship station of the Bauer City Network which will be renamed the Hits Radio Network - expanded nationally at scale to reach an additional 55% of the UK. Hits Radio will sit alongside the market-leading & influential brands Absolute Radio, Magic and KISS and will become Bauer Radio’s fourth national radio brand.

The Hits Radio Network will incorporate Bauer’s much-loved local heritage brands and their strong audiences. These include Nottingham‘s Gem, Newcastle’s Metro Radio, Liverpool’s Radio City, Glasgow’s Clyde 1 and Edinburgh’s Forth, in addition to Hits Radio broadcasting across the UK. This launch will see Key 103 evolve to become a localised version of Hits Radio, Hits Radio Manchester which will provide news, traffic and travel, as well as local information for Manchester residents.

Dee Ford, Group Managing Director Bauer Radio, said: “Hits Radio has been informed by audience insight, which combined with our talented programming instinct unearthed a need for a fresh, exciting national radio brand. This family focused and highly attractive audience seek a brilliant alternative to what is currently on offer, the new Hits Radio station and expanded Hits Radio Network will offer a simple and effective way for commercial partners to reach them.”

Speaking about the launch, Manchester Councillor, Pat Karney: “This is a real boost for Manchester and the North-West. This station will broadcast from Manchester, not from London. Not only that, it will retain local news, campaigning and original journalism. This is a great example of the city being celebrated for the Northern Powerhouse that it is."

Graham Bryce, Group Managing Director, Hits Radio Network said “Manchester has one of the biggest community spirits and boldest attitudes in the UK, so it’s high time that a big national commercial station made it its home. We are going to offer something new and exciting – both to Manchester and across the UK."

Hits Radio will launch at 6am on the 4th June with programming overseen by Chris Pegg, Content Director. The Hits Radio Network will be overseen by Gary Stein, Group Programme Director, Hits Radio Network.

Hits Radio will broadcast on DAB Digital Radio, Freeview, online and on listen apps across the UK. In Manchester, the station will also broadcast on FM. For more information go to

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Countdown is on to 2018 Jazz FM Awards
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Countdown is on to 2018 Jazz FM Awards

2018 Jazz FM Awards | Monday 30th April | Shoreditch Town Hall

With under a month to go until the fifth Jazz FM Awards, which recognise the best emerging and established artists, stars and icons from across the worlds of jazz, soul and blues, the organisers have revealed the winners of two of its most prestigious awards. The PPL Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Dame Cleo Laine and this year’s Impact Award will be received by George Benson.

British jazz vocalist Dame Cleo Laine has achieved legendary status for her work in the music and entertainment industry. Now at 90 years of age, she has released over 100 albums and left an indelible mark on the jazz world thanks to her remarkable vocal range and scat singing prowess. Dame Cleo is a Grammy-award winner, and the only female artist to have been nominated for a Grammy in the jazz, classical and pop categories.

10-time Grammy-winning guitarist and singer George Benson will be presented with The Impact Award for his exceptional contribution to bringing jazz to wider audiences. One of the most successful jazz artists of modern times, Benson kicked off his influential career, which now spans over five decades, by working with heavyweight players such as Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard before going on to become a chart-topping, million-selling international superstar. 

Performing on the night will be 2018 Grammy® award winning US vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, a dual nominee this year in the International Jazz Artist of the Year and Album of the Year categories, accompanied by the Jazz FM House Band led by Musical Director Ashley Henry.


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