Capital and Disney plan children's radio station

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Capital Radio is to go into partnership with Walt Disney to create a children's entertainment radio network for the UK.

The move should be a major driver to the take-up of digital radio in this country, Capital said, which has so far been largely ignored by consumers. The station, to be called Capital Disney, will be launched on digital in the next few months. Today the companies will also apply for the East Midlands analogue licence.

David Mansfield, Capital's chief executive, said: "This alliance gives great momentum to the achievement of two of our long-term aims: building the UK's leading kids radio network and establishing digital radio as a mainstream medium."

The joint venture is targeting the 6 million children aged between 10 and 16 who are "highly technology literate and keen to embrace new technological developments". The companies said this potential audience was under-served by the commercial sector and the BBC.

Capital will, in effect, convert its existing Cube digital network, which is aimed at the under-16s, into the new business. "It would take years to establish the Cube brand. You don't have to tell anyone what Disney stands for or does," said Mr Mansfield.

Disney will supply some content and possibly some presenters from its pay-TV channels to the venture but its main contribution will be cross-promotion from various businesses, such as its theme parks and 60 UK retail outlets. A co-branded Capital Disney digital radio set is also being considered.

As well as pop music, the new station will be as interactive as possible, using other media platforms such as mobile phones and the internet to run competitions and other offers.

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