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Global rebrands Choice as Capital XTRA

By | Published on Friday 4 October 2013

Capital XTRA

UK radio major Global is about to further trim its brand portfolio by phasing out it’s smallest current channel, Choice FM, and rebranding the service as Capital XTRA, making it an urban spin-off to its flagship operation Capital FM.

Originally launched as an independent in 1990 and aimed at South London’s black community, what was then the Capital Radio Group took full ownership of Choice back in 2004.

When Global Radio acquired the Capital stations in 2008 there was speculation it might merge Choice with its existing network of urban music-focused Galaxy stations elsewhere in the UK though, while Choice and Galaxy were presented as sister services to advertisers, the two brands remained separate to consumers.

The Galaxy stations were later rebranded as regional outposts for the Capital network, while other local Global-owned stations with their own call signs were rebranded either Capital or Heart. But with both Capital and Heart already broadcasting in London, Choice wasn’t affected by those changes.

Until now. It’s not entirely clear how big a change to the station’s output will come with the rebrand from Choice to Capital XTRA; certainly Choice’s programming had become more mainstream over the years anyway. Though with the strapline “DANCE.URBAN.UK”, it does sound like Capital XTRA will be even closer to Bauer-owned rival Kiss, pitched at a younger audience who could then grow into listeners of the main Capital station.

The “UK” bit of the strapline is possible because Global will plonk the new service onto the national DAB digital radio platform, using the slot currently occupied by Smooth 70s, one of Global’s recent acquisitions that will now go off the air. But still, Capital XTRA will boast recent Choice recruit Tim Westwood on its roster of DJs, and he’s pretty smooth, and is almost in his 70s.

Confirming the launch of the new service, Global chief Ashley Tabor told CMU: “The launch of Capital XTRA is a great moment for listeners, for commercial radio, for the DAB platform and for our team here at Global”.

He went on: “People right across the UK will now get to enjoy a truly national station in Capital XTRA – the only commercial station to play urban dance music nationwide. We’re taking the best presenters and shows and building on that by adding even more new talent to the line up and we believe Capital XTRA has a very bright future”.