Hit40UK to be dropped in favour of separate charts

Commercial radio stations are understood to be planning to axe the network chart in its current form and replace it with three new charts based on different genres of music. It is hoped that the charts will launch this autumn.

The revamped charts will be a mainstream pop music chart, an adult contemporary music chart and an urban music chart. It is understood that radio groups will be invited to tender for the production of the charts, but that they will not be branded.

The stations are planning to create three major sponsorship opportunities for commercial radio, while updating the traditional chart show and making it relevant to a wider variety of radio stations.

It coincides with EMAP’s decision to return to the network chart after deciding to launch its own Smash Hits!-branded version. It launched the chart in January 2003 at the same time as the Pepsi Chart rebranded as the Hit40UK, which is sponsored by Woolworths. It is not clear what the plans will mean for the Woolworths sponsorship.

The major radio groups are thought to have been working closely with the Radio Advertising Bureau to develop the plans. It is hoped that greater co-operation across programming will help the medium to increase its seven per cent share of listeners to ten per cent by 2010 (MW April 14).

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