Chrysalis, Talk and Virgin to contest London digital licence

Three radio groups this week revealed plans to apply for the second Greater London digital multiplex licence.

Three radio groups this week revealed plans to apply for the second

Greater London digital multiplex licence.

Chrysalis Radio, Talk Radio and Virgin Radio, which all lost the first

licence to CE Digital - the joint venture between Capital and Emap - are

applying again within the same consortia.

There will be a total of three digital licences for services in and

around the Greater London area. Although the official application

deadline is not until 11 January 2000, at pounds 25,000 per application,

an industry spokesman said: ’It’s unlikely any more applications will be

received before the closing date.’ The Greater London licence costs

pounds 8,500 a year to maintain.

Phil Riley, chief executive of the Chrysalis Group, confirmed that

Chrysalis Radio would be applying as a consortium - called MXR -

containing Border, Soul Media (Choice FM) and the Daily Mail group. The

Ginger Media Group (Virgin Radio) and Talk Co Holdings (Talk Radio) will

form a consortium with Clear Channel International under the name Switch


’I am confident that we will be successful the second time around. It’s

a pain going through the application process but I’m sure it will be

worth it,’ said Riley.

Future applicants can take advantage of the Radio Authority’s recently

disclosed appraisal of CE Digital’s successful application.

This will give the next round of applicants a clearer idea of the Radio

Authority’s demands. ’CE Digital satisfied the board in a number of


It displayed a high level of technical professionalism, supplied

evidence of local support from business and political contacts, and

demonstrated its plans for broadening its range of local digital

services within its programming packages,’ said a Radio Authority


CE Digital accounted for a 68 per cent share of independent local radio

listening, offering Capital FM, Capital Gold, Kiss 100, Magic, News

Direct, Xfm, Sunrise Radio and LBC.

The Radio Authority has announced that applicants can now apply for the

digital multiplex licence for Edinburgh, the 11th advertised digital


Digital One, the national commercial digital radio multiplex venture

between GWR and NTL, already has access to the area.

The third licence for applications within the Greater London area will

be announced next spring, once the second licence has been awarded.