The long clamour for a radio station which mixes speech programming with classic rock is over - at least in Manchester. What do mean, what clamour? Did you miss the march through London, with people chanting "What do we want? Queen's greatest hits and interviews with senior local National Health Managers When do we want it? Well, the speech elements ideally at breakfast and drive time, the music at other points in the schedule, although admittedly that raises questions about the weekend...oh, hang on... you mean Now, don't you?"
Ofcom have awarded Rock Talk the final Manchester FM franchise.
Guardian Media Group's John Myers is quite excited:
Another nail in the coffin for the BBC? Erm... the BBC's stranglehold on UK radio is quite firm, and is hardly likely to be broken by a local network in a northern city mixing travel news and Led Zep (Tailbacks on the M62 and Smoke On The Water).
"The bid led on the whole GMG ethos of offering something different. It is an opportunity to do speech at peak time with classic rock around it. It is a totally new format for Britain.
"We will be targeting BBC Radio Manchester. I think one of the reasons Ofcom awarded us the licence is that we have the facilities in the north-west to make it work."
Actually, old music and some speech features was pretty much the norm on most Gold format stations when the frequencies split back in the 1980s, until the Radio Authority started to loosen formats faster than Chris Moyles loosens his belt at an All You Can Eat Buffet. But we wish them luck, and hope this will be the start of a slew of unusual mix-and-match formats. We can't wait for the dance music/business news network.