Radio plans reported to have been abandoned for former talk107 licence

THE company that last year ran a test radio broadcast, for a month, on the frequency previously occupied by Edinburgh-based all-speech radio station, talk107, is reported to have lost interest in applying for the frequency licence on a more permanent basis.

Celador – the company behind TV quiz, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and Oscar-winner movie, Slumdog Millionaire – is said by The Herald newspaper to “has shelved plans to set up a new station for the abandoned talk107 radio licence in Edinburgh”.

Last year, Coast 107 broadcast from the former observatory on Calton Hill, in Edinburgh, in a bid to encourage broadcasting regulators, Ofcom, to invite bids to operate on the frequency, and to show it specifically would be able to operate it.

Smith quotes broadcaster, Charles Fletcher, who ran Coast 107 and “had been lined up to take the same role in the bid for the full-time licence”. Fletcher is quoted, saying it was “a disappointing outcome, given the profile the station built in the capital last year”.

And he is further quoted, saying: “I’d still seek to encourage a re-advertisement of the frequency because we need a city station dedicated to a clear and focused coverage of the Edinburgh region.”

After two-and-a-half years in operation, talk107 was shut down just before Christmas two years ago, by its owners, UTV, despite a last-minute management buyout attempt. Its broadcasters included allmediascotland co-founder, Alex Bell – this week officially unveiled as a special adviser to First Minister, Alex Salmond – Scottish Labour Party special adviser, Simon Pia, plus Susan Morrison, Dominik Diamond, Tommy Sheridan, Scott Wilson and Heather Dee.

Last year, a lack of money was cited as the reason plans had to be binned by Fletcher to set up a radio station based in South Queensferry, near Edinburgh: Jubilee 1.