At 2ZY we usually make radio for other people. But now we’re starting our own radio station on the side. Max is an eighties-format, launching on the Niocast Digital pilot local multiplex for Manchester in September. It will also be available in various ways online. After all, it’s not 1985 any more.

It’s an exciting time for digital radio. These nine-month pilots are designed to test “the operability of low cost small scale DAB multiplexes” and “will help to inform a wider programme of work (regulator) Ofcom is carrying out to consider the possibilities for enabling small scale radio services to broadcast on a digital radio platform.” (From Ofcom paper on Small Scale DAB trial)

When we heard Niocast had been successful in establishing a licence to operate a pilot in Manchester, we wanted 2ZY to be involved. We see Max as a bit of research and development. The barrier-to-entry to launch a real radio station (with transmitters and everything) has now come so low, that it’s within the reach of small operators with big ideas. By working with the kind of new products we’re using to deliver Max (our own project, largely out of hours), we reckon we’ll be even better able to recommend solutions to our future clients.

And we love the 80s. Obvs.

So what will you hear on Max? There’ll be more about our programme plans in due course, but a couple of early highlights will include rebroadcasts of original 80s American Top 40 chart shows with Casey Kasem, and relays of Girls on Film – Manchester’s 80s night, live from the Deaf Institute.

This has been assembled so quickly following the opportunity presenting itself – isn’t even commissioned yet. But when it is, that’s where you’ll find more details about what we’re up to.

We’ll blog again when it’s live. Max is coming!


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