The Radio Authority has confirmed it will licence one more Greater London station. Previously, it said it would licence only three more local London stations.
The rethink follows news of Melody Radio being transferred to a new frequency, from 104.9 to 105.4 MHz, on February 1. The RA has decided to licence Melody’s old FM frequency.
“An invitation to applicants will be put out in due course, although not before early 1996,” says an RA spokeswoman. “As well as the three small licences already intended, we will licence at least one more local station.”
The new greater London licence will prove a mixed blessing for potential applicants. Although on FM, it has some reception problems – notably in south-west London – which is one reason why Melody is moving.
The decision to delay advertising the new licence was taken to allow sufficient time to assess the impact of new London stations launching later this year – Crystal FM, Virgin London and Viva.
London Radio this week confirmed anticipated changes to London News 97.3 FM, including the appointment of BBC correspondent Graham Leach and ex-LBC presenter Peter Deeley plus a raft of new programmes.
“These changes will ensure the station meets its remit of providing the capital with the broadest, most dynamic and authoritative news radio station,” says London Radio managing director Rory McLeod.