Radio industry in digital push

The radio industry is poised to plough millions of pounds into a new trade body to develop digital radio, called the Digital Radio Marketing Bureau (DRMB). It is seeking a chairman, possibly from outside the radio industry.

Senior executives of UK radio groups including GWR, Capital Radio, EMAP, Chrysalis, The Wireless Group, Switch Digital and the BBC, have held initial meetings to establish what the body’s remit will be.

A spokeswoman for Digital One, the national digital radio multiplex operator that is 60 per cent owned by GWR, says: “The DRMB is at the development stage. It will be like the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), but for digital radio. The chief executives of most of the radio groups are working out how to market digital radio together using all their resources.

“The radio groups will be putting millions of pounds forward for the sustained and effective marketing of digital radio,” she says. She adds that the remit of the DRMB has yet to be decided and advertisers are not being excluded.

It is hoped a chairman, possibly from outside the radio industry, will be appointed before the end of the first quarter of 2001. The DRMB will attempt to impose direction on the marketing of digital radio and will look at advertising the medium. It will also seek partnerships from outside the radio industry and may invest in the production of digital radio hardware to help drive down the price of digital sets.

EMAP Digital Radio has appointed Shaun Gregory as its managing director. Gregory will continue as managing director of Hallam FM and Magic AM, South Yorkshire in addition to his new role. He will report to EMAP Performance chief executive Tim Schoonmaker.

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