GMG says Smooth Radio will provide “a strong commercial alternative to BBC Radio 2” and claims the move will position the station as the second largest national commercial radio station, behind Classic FM.
The GMG Radio owned station hopes to target the 40-plus audience on a regional and national level. It currently reaches a weekly audience of 2.6 million adults.
The rollout of the station is the first step in a strategy to create a strong national brand for Smooth Radio.
It will be broadcast via the Digital One DAB digital radio network across the brand’s five FM stations and regional DAB services in England including National DAB, Sky, Freeview and Freesat.
GMG says new regulations brought in by Ofcom under the Digital Economy Bill have enabled it to create a national radio service across the brand.
London, the North East, North East, East and West regions will share programming broadcast from GMG’s Manchester studios.
Listeners in Glasgow will continue to receive a local programme schedule during the drive time slot.
The stations presenters include music and broadcast stalwarts Pete Waterman, Tony Blackburn and Mark Goodier.
Stuart Taylor, Chief Executive of GMG Radio, said: “The future of radio is all about establishing strong brands, available across multiple platforms, and the future for Smooth is as a truly national station. This deal with Digital One will enable Smooth to develop into one of the strongest names in UK radio.”