Absolute for Bristol

Absolute Radio International Ltd (ARI) have joined forces with Town and Country Broadcasting Ltd (T&C) to jointly bid for the new Bristol FM radio licence to be advertised by industry regulator Ofcom. The new licence, broadcasting on 106.5MHz FM, will cover the city of Bristol and the surrounding area. It will be advertised by Ofcom in March and awarded in the late summer / early autumn of 2006, with a prospective on-air date of spring 2007. The relationship between the broadcasters combines ARI’s experience in competitive urban markets with T&C’s existing operations in South Wales and the West for a unique new approach to local radio in the west of England’s largest city. Bristol is currently served by local radio stations owned by GCap, UKRD, UBC and Emap, which mainly target the younger end of the market.
Clive Dickens – Programme & Operations Director of ARI says: “ARI has carried out initial analysis of the Bristol radio market and we have commissioned a full market consumer study to pinpoint the best new format for the market. Existing local commercial services achieve less than 30% of all listening in Bristol, with the BBC more dominant in the city than across similar markets in the UK. Our track record and expertise in competitive markets will serve us well in launching a successful new station for Bristol.”
Jason Bryant, CEO of Town & Country, says: “Audience figures confirm that radio in Bristol is owned by the BBC, which enjoys a mighty 63.5% share of all radio listening. This vibrant city deserves better from its local commercial radio stations. Fresh from our win in Swansea, and our commitment to better local radio, we look forward to bringing something new, distinctive and innovative to Bristol with our friends at Absolute Radio.”
Absolute Radio International is an independent, privately held, company that explores ownership, investment and management projects in Global Radio.
Town and Country Broadcasting is a private company and is the major shareholder in six UK commercial radio stations. It also offers a range of analogue and digital radio consultancy services to clients, including the UK’s leading rock and pop station Virgin Radio.