It is hoped the Capital Network, which is expected to go live in January 2011, will reach about 6.3m people across the UK and attract bigger national advertisers as well as increase local ad revenues.
Galaxy in Scotland, Birmingham, Manchester, Yorkshire, the North East and on the South Coast will be renamed with the prefix Capital. Hit Music Network stations Red Dragon, Trent, RAM and Leicester Sound will also be rebranded.
The network will be known as “95-106 Capital FM, The UK’s No.1 Hit Music Station”. Flagship station 95.8 Capital FM in London will also be renamed Capital London.
Global says that breakfast and drivetime shows will remain locally produced and all programming “will remain locally focused”.
Stephen Miron, chief executive of Global Radio, says the Capital network will target the same 16-.34 year-olds that BBC Radio 1 does.
He adds that the network will be one of three “powerhouse” national brands, alongside Heart and Classic “sitting next to each other but not competing”.
Global is to launch a multimedia marketing campaign with a “significant above the line investment”, Miron says. He adds that for some of the stations involved this represents the first marketing investment for a long time.
Miron claims the Capital brand will resonate in other parts of the country despite it being historically linked with London only. “Many people have consumed Capital outside London through DAB and digital television, and through events such as The Jingle Bell and Summertime Balls”.
The changes will lead to a “handful” of job losses, Miron adds.