Jazz FM brings ad sales in-house

Digital radio station Jazz FM has brought its sales operation in-house, and terminated its relationship with First Radio Sales, on the eve of its second birthday as a digital-only station.

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Jazz FM currently has a seven-strong commercial team, including Rupert Garrett who joined as head of sales in November 2009, and there are plans to expand the operation in due course.

The Local Radio Company (TLRC) re-launched Jazz FM as a digital-only station under licence from Guardian Media Group on 6 October 2008. Chief executive Richard Wheatly led a management buy out in April 2009.

The national ad sales are currently handled by FRS, the joint venture between TLRC and TalkSport-owner UTV. Sponsorship sales were previously handled by Brandmeetsbrand but were brought in-house in March 2010.

Rupert Garrett, head of sales at Jazz FM, said: "The time is totally right for us to start handling our national advertising with our own sales team. Jazz FM is a unique brand both in terms of output and profile and merits a dedicated sales resource.

"I am confident that we have a team in place to offer both advertisers and agencies great opportunities to become associated with one of media's highest ABC1 profile brands."

Jazz FM is available on DAB in London, the North West, the West Midlands and Glasgow, online, on Sky and Freesat TV and through Jazz FM apps on iPhone and iPad, Android, Nokia and Blackberry phones.

The original regional Jazz FM stations were bought by GMG in 2002. In 2005 the station re-branded to Smooth FM, and yesterday became a national station(4 October).

According to the Rajar figures for Q2 2010 Jazz FM has an average audience of 463,000 people a week.

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