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Last Updated: Friday, 6 July 2007, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
E4 Radio to be first new network
E4 logo
E4 is aimed at a younger audience than Channel 4
Channel 4 is to launch a spin-off from its TV network E4 as its first digital radio station after winning the right to broadcast 10 new services.

E4 Radio will combine entertainment and music when it goes on-air in July 2008, aimed at listeners aged 15 to 29.

Another station, Channel 4 Radio, is expected to provide an alternative to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, while Pure4, will be for "music lovers".

The 4 Digital Group said it wanted to provide competition for the BBC.

The consortium sees Channel 4 joining with Sky News, publisher Emap, Virgin Radio, Walt Disney and The Carphone Warehouse.

It has been awarded the second UK national digital radio licence, overcoming a rival bid from National Grid Wireless.

"We genuinely believe Channel 4 can add a fresh perspective to radio in the UK while extending choice for listeners," said Natalie Schwarz, the director of radio at Channel 4.

She also promised to work with the company's partners to promote digital radio and "drive consumer take-up".

Podcast service

Channel 4 will run three of the stations itself but will launch them one at a time rather than all at once, a spokeswoman said.

Digital Radios
The 4 Digital Group has promised to actively promote DAB digital radio
Channel 4 Radio would be second in line a few months after E4 Radio, with Pure4 third, she added.

The other seven networks will include a station for children run by Walt Disney and one based on Closer magazine, which will be aimed at women.

It is intended that these seven go on-air at the same time as E4 Radio, a year from now, the spokeswoman said.

In addition to the live radio stations, the consortium will provide podcasts from at least nine providers, expected to include the Financial Times newspaper.

Podcasts are pre-recorded programmes designed to be downloaded to an MP3 digital music player.

There will also be services designed specifically for mobile phones, Channel 4 said.

"We know how much our customers love listening to music on their mobile phones," said Charles Dunstone, chief executive of The Carphone Warehouse.

"With the new licence we're looking forward to bringing them radio in a new and brilliant format."


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