Telegraph talks up radio ambition

The Telegraph Group will reportedly bid for the UK’s second national digital radio multiplex in an effort to launch a talk radio station to rival the likes of BBC Five Live and Talk Sport.

The news company aims to build on the success of its podcasts by securing the forthcoming portion of DAB spectrum, allowing it to run up to 10 stations and mobile TV channels for at least 12 years.

The group recently accelerated its growing online and multi-platform ambitions with a move to a new integrated newsroom in Victoria, London, and a deal with ITN to provide web news video.

The existing DAB multiplex is operated by Digital One, while Ofcom’s remit for its forthcoming counterpart is that stations must broadcast distinct alternative content.

The process has attracted interest from a consortium involving GCap, BT and Arqiva, and another made up of Channel 4, UBC Media and UTV Radio. Channel 4 has already put its talents on display with the launch of its site.

Deadline for bids is March 2007 with services expected on air in 2008.