The Local Radio Company Plc has signed a three year licencing agreement with Guardian Media Group (”GMG”) to broadcast Jazz FM on DAB, the Internet and digital television in the UK. Broadcasts are expected to begin in late autumn. Local Radio Company Chairman Richard Wheatley said “Our previous success in developing and building the Jazz FM brand and our ability to use existing Local Radio Company infrastructure to rapidly create a new radio station without significant additional costs means we are confident that Jazz FM will provide a significant source of new revenues and future profits and represents a unique value creation opportunity for our shareholders.”
Under the agreement GMG will assign to The Local Radio Company the rights to provide a Jazz FM service on the London, North West and West Midlands digital multiplexes as well as the rights to manage the Jazzfm.com website and exploit the Jazz FM brand into a wide range of Jazz related products and services.
In addition, the digital coverage of Jazz FM nationally will be extended through carriage on Sky TV. At its discontinuation, The Jazz, a national DAB service had a total weekly audience of 407,000, listening for over 2 million hours (source: Rajar 2008) whilst Jazz FM had a total weekly audience of 1,024,000 with over 5 million listening hours when it was sold by the current Local Radio Company management in 2002 (source: Rajar Q2 2002).
(Source: Local Radio Company via Ray Woodward)