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Bauer Media to take Kiss nationwide

By
Pure DAB radio
Bauer Media has applied to Ofcom to become the third commercial radio operator to take its local station nationwide, with plans to expand the Kiss FM licences.

The company wants to transform its three existing Kiss stations in London, East Anglia and the Severn Estuary to a single service broadcasting across the country on digital.

As part of the proposal, the stations would share programming rather than broadcasting their own individual, locally-produced content.

Bauer claims that the enlarged Kiss network would initially be available to 73% of the UK adult population, increasing to almost 80% within a few months.

Ofcom will now seek views from the radio industry and listeners on Bauer's proposal, including whether it constitutes sufficient coverage for a nationwide station.

The media regulator has previously permitted regional stations to merge programming as long as they are made available UK-wide on the DAB platform.

Bauer's proposed move also follows the relaunch of GMG Radio's Smooth network as a national station last month. Global Radio will next year expand its London-based Capital music station to a nationwide network.

Speaking to Radio Today, a Bauer Radio spokesperson said: "Our absolute commitment is to broadcast quality programming that excites and delights our audiences and advertisers - not just across the Kiss 101 and 105-108 transmission areas, but this provides an exciting opportunity to expand the Kiss footprint across more of the UK.

"Audience research consistently cites music and mood, rather than geography, as key drivers to strong listener engagement."

According to the latest audience data, the three Kiss stations have a combined weekly reach of 4.04m listeners on FM and digital platforms.

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