BBC revamps GMR as competition heats up with Xfm launch

LONDON - BBC GMR, the BBC local radio station serving Greater Manchester, is to re-adopt its former title, BBC Radio Manchester, as part of a relaunch of the station's services.

BBC GMR's status as most popular local radio station in Manchester is under threat as GCap last week launched its indie station Xfm in Manchester.

John Ryan, BBC GMR managing editor, said: "Manchester as a name has come to be synonymous with the whole city region and has largely usurped the phrase 'Greater Manchester', which was never a term that people easily related to."

The station is beefing up its offering with a raft of new signings including Terry Christian, Tony Wilson and former 'Coronation Street' actress Shobna Gulati.

BBC GMR is also dedicating more airtime to community programmes.

Ryan added: "This change back to our original name, which is in keeping with most other BBC local radio stations, does not alter the quality or reach of our service. We simply want to serve the whole of the Manchester area better."

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