Capital in talks with Digital One

Capital Radio is in talks with the digital radio consortium, Digital One, despite already being involved with a rival digital radio grouping.

Insiders at Digital One say that the London and South-east station has been in talks with the consortium for several weeks. Digital One is bidding for the digital multiplex which will be awarded by radio’s governing body, the Radio Authority, in June.

The consortium currently includes Classic FM, Talk Radio, and Virgin Radio which, because of their national radio status, are between them guaranteed three of the five places available on the multiplex.

However, Capital is already part of another digital radio consortium which comprises EMAP Radio, DMG Radio and NTL.

Sally Oldham, managing director of Capital Radio, says: “We are reviewing all of our options and Digital One is just one of those on the table. We will talk to anyone about digital, but we don’t have to decide anything until the deadline for applications for the digital licence is due in June. One of our options is to do nothing.”

Unlike Talk, Classic, and Virgin, Capital is not a national station and so is not guaranteed a place on the national multiplex. The station is also weighing up whether digital radio will gain any serious penetration across the country over the next ten years.

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