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Radio Newark on DAB Digital Radio.

DAB deal signals massive expansion in Radio Newark’s reach. Radio Newark's potential audience reach is set to expand dramatically after the community station’s board of directors accepted an offer to have its output relayed by Nottingham DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting).

The recently established digital radio multiplex operator serves the city and the surrounding area and will, starting on April 8, simulcast Radio Newark programmes for digital listeners, with a potential reach of more than three-quarters of a million people.

Radio Newark’s current FM ‘footprint’ has a reach of around 60,000, with additional listeners able to tune in anywhere in the UK on smartphones or computers via the station’s website, a smart speaker, or the Radio Newark app.

“It is a mighty step forward,” said Radio Newark Director of Operations Phil Johnson. It’s a massive difference in our potential reach, but we must remember that we are still Radio Newark. We are not here to take on Nottingham; anything that goes on air must relate to Newark.

“This is about making Radio Newark more available to Newark people or people who see themselves as having some connection to Newark.

“You can listen to Radio Newark online on your phone or via Alexa anywhere, but if you are in a car listening to us on 107.8 FM on a DAB radio, what should happen when you drive down the A46 towards Nottingham is that as you approach the city, car radios will automatically switch to DAB and stay until you head back when the radio will switch back to FM.

Radio Newark’s FM antenna sits atop the spire of the parish church of St Mary Magdalene, which reaches up to 71 metres or 232 feet, to maximise the station’s current range.

Phil emphasises that the station’s editorial and community focus will remain very much on Newark. Plans are afoot to enhance this further when Newark Advertiser reporters add local news bulletins to the station’s output, which will start in a few weeks.

However, the extra potential reach is a dramatic development for the station, its listeners, and advertisers: “We are being very cautious, but our Sales Manager, Paul Chadbourne, feels very optimistic that adding DAB coverage in Nottingham will attract new audiences and commercial partners.

“We might find that some of the larger local organisations, such as solicitors, accountants, and so on, see this as something they want to support because they want to be heard in the city. “

“We’d also like to think that some of the council-run events will feel an extra boost in attendance, as being heard in the Nottingham city region could draw people into Newark to attend these events.”

“DAB brings increased listener choice to the largest urban area in the East Midlands and the second-largest in the Midlands - where more than 768,638 people live, travel, work, study and play.”

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