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Talk wins as MacKenzie's TWG gets Edinburgh licence

LONDON - The UK is to get its first speech-based radio station outside London as The Wireless Group wins the FM licence for Edinburgh with plans for a 24-hour talk-radio station called Dunedin FM, beating 11 other applicants.

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Ofcom granted the licence, which has a cachement of potentially 1m adults in the city of Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth area, yesterday. Those who lost out included Emap, Chrysalis, GWR and Scottish Radio Holdings.

Kelvin MacKenzie, chairman and chief executive of The Wireless Group, said: "I'm enormously grateful to Ofcom for having the vision to grant a speech licence for Edinburgh. This will be the first local speech licence to be granted since LBC was launched 31 years ago -- and it's the first one ever outside London."

TWG's bid was chaired by local figure David Mathewson, who is a non-executive director of two investment trusts, the chairman of Sportech, and a trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.

TWG also owns two other stations in Scotland -- The Wave 102FM in Dundee and QFM in Paisley -- and 14 other local stations in England.

TWG has also applied for FM licences for Manchester and Belfast, as has Emap's Kerrang! station.

The news follows MacKenzie's legal defeat yesterday after the High Court ruled in favour of Rajar on the timetable for electronic measurement of radio.

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