Star Radio is delighted to announce that after just 8 weeks of trading with its new owners; View TV Group (VTG) it is expanding its coverage by adding the loyal Star output onto DAB. Jamie Branson CEO of VTG said, “One of the prominent points our listeners and advertisers were asking was, ‘when is Star was going to be joining DAB?’ It was one of the first objectives that we committed to doing and in typical VTG style we are doing it big. Not only are we launching Star Digital today, we are also launching 2 new additional DAB channels in July. We want to expand our offering to both advertisers and the listener alike and our chosen DAB multiplex has a great footprint and allows us to deliver our objectives quickly and efficiently”.

VTG today has also acquired a York Radio Station, Vale Radio and have committed to re-launching the station in new studios in the heart of York, renamed in line with the Star brand, with new music and a focus on specialist genre based programming, which will complement the Star Network in Yorkshire. Jamie says, “we are dedicated to making great radio, and the Vale Online is a great example of how radio has the potential to engage with the community at every level and we intend to expand on that potential and give it the tools and investment it needs to make it a viable proposition”.

VTG also intends to launch one of the new DAB channels in July as ‘Star Extra’, which will play nothing but hits from the best years of our lives and deliver proper grown up radio that we all hope will become part of the region’s daily lifestyle”. VTG Head of Radio, Darren Shortt added, “The new expansion allows us to offer a huge variety of programming across the region that gives the listener an unbelievable amount of choice from our network, with music from the 60’s to the present day across the channels”. Initially the new channels will be in standard DAB, however VTG have committed along with its partners to convert these to the new DAB+ platform as soon as possible, to give the listener a dramatically improved experience, which will be highly comparable with that of existing National BBC broadcasts.

To accommodate all of this VTG are relocating the business back to Durham in July with a brand new state of the art purpose build facility, which is 5 times larger than their existing building and will enable the group to broadcast multiple linear and video on demand (VOD) channels across the UK using VTG’s existing UK IP Media Network. Star Radio will also be launching more than 8 full HD music television channels from the same facility. The facility will open with >75% of the first year’s national advertising sold through the UK’s top television agencies within the first week of announcing the rollout. A late announcement to the line-up is that VTG will be using Durham as one of the first of 200 local television locations across the UK providing ‘Durham TV’ by the end of the summer, which extends radio and provides cross media revenues and audiences.

This is exciting for the radio industry as a whole. Jamie Branson and Darren Shortt are continuing to innovate radio across the UK using Yorkshire as the initial area to demonstrate the future of radio by going against the outdated DNA of the business at present, all of which has been highly supported and welcomed by our partners and industry regulators.