GWR unveils Planet Rock and Core UK digital radio brands

GWR today unveiled the identity of its two new UK digital radio stations, Planet Rock and Core.

GWR today unveiled the identity of its two new UK digital radio

stations, Planet Rock and Core.

Planet Rock and Core are the first commercial radio channels in Europe

to go on air using digital technology. They will broadcast on the

Digital One multiplex, also set to carry Classic FM, Virgin and Talk

Radio from 15 November. At the same time, the new stations will be

launched on Astra satellite as well as an on a website.

Opus, the sales house owned by GWR, will sell airtime on the new


It is currently discussing sponsorship deals with several possible


Planet Rock will target 35- to 54-year-old classic rock fans with a

playlist ranging from Led Zeppelin to the Steve Miller Band. ’This

station is not for the long-haired greasy bikers, because the ex-rock

festival goers are now executives driving around in BMWs and are the

sort of people who can afford to invest in digital.’ said Russell

Stuart, managing director of GWR Digital Services.

Core, a teenage pop station, is hoping to attack Radio 1’s audience,

described as ’a promiscuous audience, keen to experiment with new


It will target young female listeners with chart hits and mainstream

dance music. Stuart said it was time for a head-on attack of Radio 1.

Core also hopes to challenge Galaxy FM, Kiss FM and a number of pirate


Stuart also confirmed that GWR is on the verge of signing up with

SkyView and other major cable and satellite providers to carry the


’Interactive television offers another method of communication to an

instant captive audience. All you need to do is click on your electronic

programme guide to listen to digital. Sky won’t give the same clarity

received via a digital set, but we can certainly use it as a consumer

hook for early adopters,’ Stuart said.

The GWR group is prepared to spend pounds 12 million over the next six

years to encourage the consumer uptake of digital radio. ’We will spend

millions per year on marketing, but we don’t expect to make a profit for

the next five years. We are playing a long-term game here and need to

treat digital as an investment for the future,’ Stuart said.

GWR is promoting the new brands on all its FM stations.

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