EMAP Radio, which owns 18 radio stations in England, is to plough &£2m into a new Internet business.
The company, which has yet to be named, will be launched in six weeks and is part of EMAP Radio’s strategy to position itself as an all-round entertainment and media business.
The aim is to set up a Website for each radio station, where users can access the latest listings and entertainment news in their region.
EMAP On Air operations director Iain Clasper is being promoted to managing director of the new venture. He will report to EMAP Radio’s managing director Dee Ford.
Clasper says: “We would like to become new media pioneers in our particular market. The main thing is to reflect the market we serve, for example big cities with distinct local identities.”
Five of EMAP Radio’s 18 stations are already online, with sites set up through EMAP Online. These include Aire FM in Leeds at www.airefm.com, and Metro FM in Newcastle at www.metrofm.com.
EMAP Radio has three distinct networks. The Magic Network includes Magic FM (formerly Melody FM) in London and eight AM stations in the North, all aimed at 35- to 44-year-olds. Big City Network, aimed at 15- to 34-year-olds, includes eight stations in major cities. And the major FM network is the dance music station Kiss FM in London.