Thursday, November 24, 2005


As the London radio market continues to bubble like an overpicked zit, the still fairly newly merged Capital and GWR group have announced huge changes to Capital Radio and some of their other stations.

Most notably - and surpisingly - from December 12th the number of adverts on Capital FM will be cut by half, and a new rule barring the playing of more than two adverts back to back. Then, after the New Year bank holiday, Capital will get a makeover including a "new music position" (i.e. a different playlist) - we suspect this will be less radical than the advertising change, as there's not much you can do with a Top 40 station to make it distinctive from all the other Top 40 stations without ceasing to be a Top 40 station. We have the words "rolling showtunes network" being muttered, but we suspect the new position will actually turn out to be something like Tomorrow's Most Mixed Music or something.

Elsewhere, Glasgow's Beat 106 will finally bow to the inevitable and be reborn as XFM, as will the digital Storm network; and sluggish oldies digital network Life will be merged with Capital Gold, an AM network which has already rolled over most of the south of England despite the confusing concept of having a local station called Capital broadcasting to, say, the Bournemouth metro area.

There is a slight sense of panic setting in, as GCap's six month figures weren't quite what they were hoping for.