Kiss to launch search for new presenter with BlackBerry

Smartphone brand BlackBerry has sponsored a competition to find the next presenter on Bauer Media-owned radio station Kiss, as Bauer prepares to take the Kiss brand nationwide.

Kiss: breakfast show presenters Rickie, Melvin and Charlie
Kiss: breakfast show presenters Rickie, Melvin and Charlie

The competition, The Kiss Chosen One, sponsored by BlackBerry, gives aspiring broadcasters the chance to become the next presenter on the Kiss network through a series of live auditions.

From each of the four events, a shortlist of five finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges, including group programme director Andy Roberts and a Kiss presenter. A further set of trials and challenges will then be set to find The Kiss Chosen One.

Liz Cunningham, head of commercial programming at Kiss, said: "The Kiss Chosen One with BlackBerry is a huge piece of activity on the Kiss Network and marks the fourth quarter of a great partnership between Kiss and BlackBerry.

"For the first time ever, we're holding live, open auditions to find the next Kiss presenter, and with such a natural brand fit, BlackBerry is the perfect partner for this."

Blackberry is the sponsor of Kiss breakfast show, 'Jump Start Your Day' with Rickie, Melvin and Charlie, and this sponsorship is part of that wider deal, estimated to be worth six figures.

A spokesman for Kiss said no agencies were involved in the activity.

The auditions will take place on Saturday 15 January at Westfield London, Lakeside shopping centre in Thurrock on 22 January and on 29 January at Whitgift Centre in Croydon. The final heat will be held in central London on Saturday 5 February.

Following a consultation, broadcasting regulator Ofcom has given three Kiss stations in London, East Anglia and the Severn Estuary areas, permission to drop their current localness obligations in return for offering the national service in those areas on DAB in December.

Bauer Media has yet to announce its plans for the brand, or what local programming or news content it may retain, except to say that production from regional studios at Kiss 101 and Kiss 105-108 would relocate to Kiss 100’s studios in London.

Ofcom relaxed local radio regulations following the Digital Economy Act and, since then, a number of radio groups have made similar changes, including GMG Radio with Smooth and Global Radio with Heart, Gold and Capital.