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London gets country radio station on DAB

By James Cridland for media.info
Posted 11 March 2016, 7.22am est

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Country music is, in many parts of the US and Canada, a market-leading format. But - on the week that BBC Radio 2 Country makes a temporary appearance on DAB Digital Radio sets, Londoners are spoilt for choice - because the UK's Chris Country is now broadcasting, permanently, on DAB Digital Radio in London and the South East.

The station is now broadcasting on the London 2 multiplex as a DAB service; and we'll see how popular it is soon, since the station has also told media.info that they plan to be in RAJAR.

It isn't the first country music station to hit London's airwaves - that was Country 1035, which broadcast from 1994 to 2002 on 1035 kHz AM. A digital station, 3C (Continuous Cool Country) was also run by Scottish Radio Holdings for a while, but that closed in 2007.

There's one other 24/7 radio station playing country in the UK - Downtown Country, available in Northern Ireland on DAB. That launched in April last year, and posted initial audience figures of 89,000 in the last RAJAR survey.

Chris Country was launched as an online service in April 2012, and also has a syndicated weekly programme aired by radio stations across the UK.

Press release

London’s newest radio station hits the airwaves today – and it’s got big plans to make its mark on the capital’s listening habits.

From today, Chris Country Radio is available to over 12 million people in London and the South East on DAB Digital Radio.

Chris Country Radio has quickly made its name as the UK’s Country Station after 4 years of broadcasting online. Thousands of listeners already enjoy the station’s music mix that includes Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley and Kacey Musgraves.

Recent station guests include US superstars Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town and Brett Eldredge, while the station also supports the UK country scene, with The Shires, Ward Thomas and Raintown all featured on the playlist.

Chris Country Radio was founded by former Smooth Radio programmer Chris Stevens who said; “I lived in the USA for five years, and when I moved back I couldn’t find a country station here like the ones I enjoyed there, so I set my own up!”

Building on its early success, last year Chris Country Radio launched on DAB in a number of UK cities, including Manchester. Now, due to further demand from its listeners, the station is bringing America’s biggest radio format to London, Europe’s most exciting media market.

“Today’s country music is incredibly well written and produced” adds Chris. “We know we’ll get a warm reception from the thousands of country music fans already in London but we also want to welcome those who might not have checked country music out before. Chances are they’ll really enjoy it!”

To celebrate its London launch, Chris Country Radio will be at the O2 all this weekend interviewing the world’s biggest country music stars who are in town performing at the Country to Country music festival.

To listen to Chris Country, press the “retune” or “rescan” button on your DAB Digital Radio, and search for “Country”.

Chris Country is also on trial DAB broadcasts in Manchester, Cambridge and Portsmouth, and can also be heard via the station’s phone apps, or at www.chriscountry.co.uk

Shows on the station include Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 every Saturday morning (the USA’s biggest syndicated country show), Chris Country Chilled every night from 10pm, and Club 9 To 5 through the workday.

More information

James Cridland — James is the Managing Director of media.info, and a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. His website is at james.cridland.net, where you can subscribe to his weekly newsletter.
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Comments

1 year, 3 months ago

Congratulations to Chris Stevens for getting this thing into the air!

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