Xfm begins trial in Manchester

Xfm, Capital Radio Group’s London-based alternative music station, is launching a month-long trial in Manchester. The move comes ahead of the release of a new batch of FM radio licences that will be advertised from next month, including one in Manchester.

Xfm will operate the trial, which starts at the beginning of August, using a restricted service licence. The station will broadcast locally between 10am and 4pm but it will come live from London for the Christian O’Connell breakfast show and the drivetime show with Lauren Laverne. Laverne and afternoon show presenter Richard Bacon will broadcast live from Manchester during the second week.

The station, which will be available on 87.7FM, will be supported by a poster campaign focusing on the type of music it plays. It will also host live events in the city, including a Remix Night at nightclub Sankey’s Soap and an X-Posure Live night, which will showcase up-and-coming bands from the area.

Xfm head of marketing Charlotte Soussan says the station will appeal to Mancunian listeners despite it being based in London. She adds that it already has listeners in Manchester through DAB digital radio, digital television and the Net, and hopes that the trial will help build on that audience.

The station is also applying for an FM licence in Dublin (MW May 27). It has teamed up with Irish broadcaster and internet group UTV and Irish-owned radio consultancy Absolute Radio International to make the bid.

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