Business News Media

Smooth Radio relaunch plans revealed

By | Published on Tuesday 25 February 2014

Smooth Radio

Having solved the tricky challenge of being forced, by the Competition Commission, to sell off most of the FM radio licences it acquired from the Guardian Media Group in 2012, Global Radio has now announced its plans for the future of the one time GMG radio firm’s biggest brand, Smooooooooooooooth Radio.

As previously reported, Global sold the FM licences it was forced to offload to Irish media firm Communicorp, which is then licensing back station formats and syndicated programming from Global, so that basically the UK radio major’s various branded station networks are unhindered by the sale, it just won’t directly own all the frequencies used by those networks.

Smooth is one of those brands, and having been sitting in limbo while Global went through the motions of the competition regulator investigation, it’s now set for a big fat relaunch. And as is par for the course when Global relaunches a radio station, it’ll almost certainly piss off the core listenership, but – the radio giant hopes – will result in bigger audiences overall. Good times.

The overhaul means radio veterans Simon Bates and Lynn Parsons are out, to be replaced by people off the telly, namely one time tennis man and GMTV muppet Andrew Castle and fellow breakfast telly sofa-filler Kate Garraway. Meanwhile that lovely Myleene Klass will have a Saturday morning show, sharing some chatter in amongst ‘Your Relaxing Music Mix’.

A spokesman for the departing Bates, who has been at Smooth for three years after over a decade with another Global station, Classic FM, said that the DJ’s original contract with Smooth was up anyway, and that his departure was “amicable”.

Meanwhile bigging up his all new Smooth service, Global’s owns smooth operator Ashley Tabor told reporters: “Andrew Castle, Kate Garraway and Myleene Klass joining Smooth tell you just how seriously Global takes the [relaunch], and the focus and investment we’re putting behind this brand. It’s a further demonstration of our core strategy of ‘national brands delivered locally’, and it’s very important to us”.