GMG to drop Jazz brand to widen North West’s appeal

The Guardian Media Group (GMG) is embarking on a £1m relaunch of Jazz FM North West in a bid to broaden the radio station’s appeal.

The Guardian Media Group (GMG) is embarking on a &£1m relaunch of Jazz FM North West in a bid to broaden the radio station’s appeal.

The station will be renamed Smooth FM and will go live on March 1 next year.

The decision comes after research by GMG Radio revealed that the name Jazz FM was putting listeners off tuning in. Smooth FM will have a broader playlist which is to feature more soul-oriented artists, such as Norah Jones, as well as younger jazz musicians, such as Jamie Cullum. The Jazz FM branding will not change in London or on the station’s digital output.

GMG is talking to agencies about the relaunch campaign, including Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw, which already handles the &£2m Jazz FM account, and Clear Marketing, which works on GMG’s three Real Radio stations. It has also contacted a number of undisclosed agencies. GMG chief executive John Myers says he plans to make a decision over the next month.

The launch of a third radio station brand is expected to lead to a reshuffle of the GMG marketing team. Myers will oversee the Smooth FM launch but he is expected to appoint a dedicated marketer for the brand in the future. The company will also create a local news team for the station.

Earlier this year, GMG scrapped the Jazz FM chameleon icon after research found that consumer recall of the imagery was low (MW January 23).

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