Radio station for gay listeners goes on air

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The Independent Culture

Britain's first FM radio station dedicated to gay and lesbian listeners went on air this week, promising to go beyond the traditional diet of high-energy pop from scene icons such as Kylie Minogue and Madonna.

Manchester's Gaydio was finally granted a licence by Ofcom in 2008 after being conceived to accompany the city's Pride festival which attracts 250,000 people annually. From last weekend, DJs have been delivering a 24-hour mixture of music and speech programming to a potential audience of 2.4 million people.

The co-founder Ian Wallace said he hoped both gay and non-gay listeners would be attracted to the service, which will broadcast on FM in the Manchester area and will be available online to the rest of the country.

"What we found is that a lot of people thought it would be Kylie and Madonna FM, but it is about playing music that people want to listen to today and tomorrow – though I would be lying if I said they wouldn't feature sometimes," he said.

The station hopes to build on the success of Gaydar, which has proved highly popular with listeners tuning in through digital in London and Brighton and which also has a thriving internet following.

Mr Wallace said advertisers had already registered interest and were keen to target the above-average disposable incomes of many in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.