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GOODBYE CHOICE FM?

NEW LOOK: DJ Tim Westwood

BRITAIN’S FIRST 24-hour black radio station Choice FM is to be renamed Capital Xtra, according to well-placed industry sources, a move critics say is the final insult in an attempt to whitewash its roots.

Though the station’s owners Global Radio have made no official announcement, insiders claim they are due to go public any day now, with the rebranded name scheduled to come into effect in the New Year.

The timing is a kick in the face for the UK’s “number one urban station” as it coincides with Black History Month and comes on a wave of anger following the dismissal of one of the station’s most popular presenters DJ 279, to make room for Tim Westwood, who left BBC1 Xtra after spending 20 years there.

BRANDING

Sources have confirmed that Choice’s branding has already been taken down in studios and a domain name, Capital Xtra, first listed in 2011 and updated as recently as October 1 is registered to Global’s headquarters in Leicester Square.


END OF AN ERA: DJ 279 was replaced with Tim Westwood sparking outrage

An article announcing Westwood’s move to Choice on industry website Radio Today reportedly referenced the rebranded station name, but was swiftly edited, users on Digital Spy online forum claimed.

Choice DJs have remained tight-lipped with none speaking out to confirm or even deny the rumours.
At the time of going to press, Global Radio had not responded to The Voice’s requests for comment. A spokesman for Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog, said it would be making no comment.

Our source said: “It’s sad. That’s almost two decades of black history gone. Many will say it’s just a name, but it’s much more than that. It’s what the change represents; it’s the deletion of our history and all that Choice FM once stood for. Choice FM gave listeners an alternative to the mainstream, now it is mainstream. Little separates it from what’s already out there. Changing the name is the final kick in the teeth to Choice FM’s legacy…”

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