Gaydio hits the South

MANCHESTER’S Gaydio has expanded into London and Brighton after taking on two digital licences.

The FM station, dedicated to a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender audience, has acquired the licences from Gaydar.

It closed at the start of the week with its owner, QSoft Consulting, blaming the cost of investment in digital audio broadcasting (DAB).

Gaydio, based at Manchester One on Portland Street, operates on a community licence but claims it is now the largest gay radio station in the world. Its expansion is unusual when many community stations are facing the prospect of closure because government advertising has been cut back, along with grant finance.

Gaydar had around 750,000 listeners a month across the two licences, while Gaydio claims 100,000 a month. The new digital licences will share most of Gaydio’s programming, but some separate specialist music and magazine programmes will continue to be broadcast to Manchester only, to comply with the station’s community remit.

Programme director Toby Whitehouse said: “Taking over these licences is a terrific opportunity for us. Gaydar had a large and loyal audience and we’re working hard to deliver a service that people will love.”

The station has now been rebranded as “Gaydio, the Beat of Gay UK”. It first broadcast in 2006 on a restricted service licence, but began full-time in 2010.