DMG Radio is rebranding two of its stations as smoothfm in a bid to exploit what it calls a “unique opportunity” in Australian radio.
The 95.3 station in Sydney and Melbourne’s 91.5 will both be rebranded and become a “soft, adult contemporary station”, providing easy listening music.
They will aim for the female over-35 demographic, with DMG set to launch a "million dollar" marketing blitz on May 20 with the stations to go live at 7am on May 21.
DMG Radio CEO Cathy O’Connor said that the rebrand presents the best long-term option for 95.3 and 91.5, at the press event held at The Star’s Sokyo restaurant today.
“What I would absolutely like to put on the record is that we are very committed to these two stations,” O’Connor said.
“We will be as proud and as passionate about 91.5 and 95.3 as we are Nova. And our commitment will be shown in both the time we give these stations ... and also the investment that we put behind the relaunch”
Tony Thomas, group marketing director DMG, told B&T that the soft-contemporary positioning will fill a “real gaping hole” in Australia’s radio market.
Smoothfm 95.3 and smoothfm 91.5 will attempt to replicate the success of Magic in London, Coast FM in Auckland and Lite FM in New York. DMG said the stations are either the number one or two in their markets.
Thomas would not reveal the refreshed stations’ sponsors or advertisers but said there had been a lot of interest in the market as their listeners will fall “within a really nice advertiser demo”.
He described the new positioning as a “portfolio play” which will allow the Nova network to focus on its younger audience.
“The majority of briefs that we see coming into DMG are [targeting the] 25-54 demo,” Thomas said.
“That’s why this for us is a real portfolio play where we can position Nova where its heritage is with the under 40 demo,
“And allow this [smoothfm] to play the over 40 demo and therefore go out to market with a really nice portfolio.”
Smoothfm’s music and advertising ratio will initially be similar to other commercial stations but Thomas said it would not be as “noisy” and will feature “commercial vignettes”.
Thomas said smoothfm’s closet competitor will be Australian Radio Network’s Mix network but he said any overlap will be minimal.
Smoothfm’s weekend line-up includes David Reyne, Richard Wilkins, David Campbell and Jason Donovan with more talent to be announced at a later date.
The weekday line-up includes Ed Phillips with the More Music Breakfast Show in Sydney with Mike Perso in Melbourne. Ty Frost and Mark Robinson will present throughout the workday with Sydney’s Byron Webb and Melbourne’s Cathy Dinn to host the More Music Drive Home show. From 8pm weeknights David Reyne will take over for Wind Down.
Will the rebrand help the ailing listening figures? Will advertisers be attracted to this kind of station? Will you listen? Leave you comments using the form below.