03 December 2019 12:48
Absolute Radio's Frank Skinner is taking over the station's schedule this Saturday to mark a decade on air. He'll begin his usual show at 8am, but will continue until 6pm by co-hosting slots including Rock n Roll Football and the Indie Disco. Among those joining him on air will be usual co-hosts Emily Dean and Alun Cochrane, as well as his former comedy and singing partner David Baddiel. Frank will co-host Rock n Roll Football with fellow comic Matt Forde, and join in with Andy Bush's Indie Disco. Jingles across the station on Saturday will be replaced with ukulele versions in tribute to Frank, who plays the instrument.
Frank Skinner says "I have to admit I'm slightly scared at the prospect of ten hours of continuous radio. Paul Sylvester, Content Director Absolute Radio told RadioToday: "Over the last decade, Frank has consistently created some of Absolute Radio's finest moments. The antithesis of many commercial radio programmes, this is a show which constantly evolves but remains true to its roots – a simple conversation between three friends. Frank Skinner is to broadcast for a ten-hour stint on Saturday to celebrate a decade on air at Absolute Radio. His show, kicking off at 8am, will also feature a reunion with David Baddiel as well as a guest appearance from Tim Key plus regular co-hosts Emily Dean and Alun Cochrane.
Country music radio host Baylen Leonard (BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4) will join the station for a daily weekday show, fresh from his win of International Country Broadcaster at the 2019 CMA International Awards. Nashville's Ty Bentli will also join the weekday line-up, while singer-songwriter Una Healy (The Saturdays, The Voice of Ireland) will also join the station for a weekend show. Speaking ahead of the launch, Una Healy said: "When you look at the success of artists such as The Shires and Ward Thomas as well as huge events like Country 2 Country, it's clear there's a real audience for country music in the UK. It's a genre I've fallen in love with and it's thrilling that it now has a home in Country Hits Radio. An official press release cited that "the UK contemporary country music scene is growing rapidly with album sales topping 1.9M in 2017; singles sales up by over 31% in the last six years; and a burgeoning live gig & festival scene.
With a reported 8.7 million fans now listening to country music in the UK, it's the biggest genre of music to have previously been without its own radio station." During its launch week next month, the station will play feature guest appearances from Case Rice, Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde, Brett Elredge and Jimmy Allen. Its playlists will include artists such as Keith Urban, Kacey Musgraves, Thomas Rhett, Maren Morris, Florida Georgia Line, Dan + Shay and Carrie Underwood. Country Hits Radio will focus on attracting modern country music-lovers aged 25-44. Country Hits Radio is the third new station launch from Bauer Media this year – following on from Greatest Hits Radio and Scala Radio. You can listen to Country Hits Radio from April 5 on DAB Digital Radio, online, via smart speakers and mobile apps. Maren Morris' cover feature headed up Music Week's Nashville 2019 special – which also included interviews with the CMA's Milly Olykan, Country To Country Festival's Chris York, rising star Kassi Ashton, Sony/ATV Nashville's Troy Tomlinson and Lady Antebellum. Subscribers can read the Morris feature in full here. Sound City+ has revealed three iconic artists that will head-up this year's panel: Chrissie Hynde, Andy McCluskey and Erin Tonkon. The award-winning Sound City Festival is returning on Friday 3rd – Sunday 5th May, along with its jam-packed sister conference Sound City+. This year there will be more incredible emerging acts, more talent, and amazing guests as part of an exciting weekend of music, arts, conversation, creativity and exploration. With a published memoir and a book of her art under her belt, American singer-songwriter Chrissie Hynde has continued to make a significant impact on the arts for nearly 40 years. The American singer is best known for her work with the Pretenders. Over her illustrious career she has firmly cemented herself as a global rock icon and one of the most influential and inspiring female musicians. In the historic setting of Liverpool's Cunard Building, Chrissie will be chatting with Absolute Radio's Danielle Perry as the Keynote speaker on Friday 3rd May. A music industry veteran; an accomplished singer, songwriter and public speaker. As the lead singer of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark as well as the co-creator and co-songwriter of pop-group Atomic Kitten, he has earned 60 gold and platinum album and single awards and sold over 15 million albums and 25 million singles. Andy will join Sound City+ Trashed TV on Saturday 4th May. Originally from New York, Erin performed backing vocals for David Bowies Grammy award-winning final album 'Blackstar'. Catch Erin's 'In Conversation' on Friday 4th May at the British Music Experience. This year even more panels have been announced 'The Levi's Music Project: Creating Community Impact Through Brand and Music Partnerships' One of the coolest new panels will be Trashed TV! A fresh and unique project that takes the form of a live magazine. It aims to celebrate all things creative through multiple mediums, offering a platform for both emerging talent and established names to share their opinions, art and anecdotes. Trashed will be interviewing some very special guests and also be talking to some of the brightest young bands around giving SC+ attendees the chance to experience personal insights into the music industry from the bands. More at Sound City: This year there is an exciting opportunity for emerging female talent! Gwenno calls out for the region's most exciting emerging female talent to join her Gwenno is joining Sound City with a special one-off performance of brand-new works with her producer, Rhys Edwards, and some of the region's most exciting emerging female talent. The project encourages the exploration of concepts inspired by a sense of place and people, drawing from Liverpool's rich and varied communities. The material will be created on a five-day residency as part of Both Sides Now, a pioneering initiative from music charity Brighter Sound. Sound City is also very excited to announce more showcases and late-night parties taking place across the whole weekend, including live action from Bella Union, DIY, Gigwise, CD Baby, ATC and UTA, plus late-night parties from Shit Indie Disco, Machine'n'Funk and Fiesta Bombarda with Positive Vibrations. Featuring pop-up life drawing, poetry, and impromptu theatre and loads more happening! Tickets for Sound City are now on sale here. Germany's fifth-largest media group, Bauer Media, on Monday launched a London-based classical music station for millennials, amid concerns that the smartphone generation is turning off radio altogether. Scala Radio, which broadcasts on DAB digital radio in the UK and online elsewhere, aims to disrupt classical music's often staid image; and at the same time, arrest a drop in radio listening among under 30-year-olds. The new station has poached one of the BBC's top radio names, Simon Mayo, to host one of its primetime shows. Renowned film critic Mark Kermode, and two names synonymous with the world of electronic dance music — Goldie and William Orbit — will also make regular appearances. Bauer Radio's management say they researched the classical music segment and found that while younger audiences are still discovering classical music, they increasingly do it through digital channels like YouTube and other influencers. With a more informal, personality-led approach, Scala Radio also hopes it can make classical music more accessible while disrupting listening to existing classical music stations, namely BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. "We believe that Scala is the most exciting new personality-led radio station launch in years," Steve Parkinson, Bauer Group Managing Director, National Radio said in a media release ahead of Monday's launch. Parkinson said the station would be both "intriguing" and "completely unique" to appeal to a modern audience. The move into classical, along with the purchase of Jazz FM last year, was also prompted by an increasingly crowded UK commercial radio market, which targets mostly fans of wall-to-wall contemporary music. Read more: Germany mulls crackdown on social media bots Advertisers often struggle to target high-income listeners, many of whom are loyal to the BBC's network of radio stations, which run commercial free. Industry observers think fresh advertising growth for Bauer can only come from tempting more listeners away from the UK public broadcaster. The Hamburg-headquartered Bauer has made an aggressive move into UK radio over the past decade, where it operates some of the biggest brands including Kiss, Magic, Hits, Kerrang, and Absolute Radio. Last month, its UK radio division bought dozens of local radio stations, taking its portfolio to over 85 stations, which industry insiders think may help the firm to expand those most famous brands. Bauer Media operates 17 countries and as well as its UK radio interests, it owns a portfolio of more than 600 magazines and over 400 digital products. Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism.