Bauer Media to launch new Manchester-based country music station

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Bauer Media is to launch its third national radio station in as many months - a station entirely dedicated to country music, based in Manchester.

Country Hits Radio will sit alongside newly launched Hits Radio and Greatest Hits Radio and be the UK's first national country music station. It will be available on DAB digital radio and online.

Bauer is hoping to tap into a growth in interest in country music in the UK, with album sales topping 1.9m in 2017 and singles sales up over 31% in the last six years.

Country Hits Radio will look to appeal to country music lovers aged between 25 and 44 with a playlist including Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett, Maren Morris, Florida Georgia Line, Dan + Shay and Carrie Underwood.

Presenters will include Baylen Leonard, Ty Bentli and Una Healy

Presenters will include Baylen Leonard (BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4), Ty Bentli and singer-songwriter Una Healy (The Saturdays, The Voice of Ireland).

Graham Bryce, group managing director for Hits Radio and Greatest Hits Networks, said: “Our insight tells us that this unique and valuable 25-44 year old music loving audience, love country music and live experiences, and we feel there is a wealth of opportunity around this station as it’s the first of its kind to realise the demand for this fast-growing genre.”

The launch, which is set for April 5th, follows Bauer's launch of Scala Radio earlier this month, a new classical station.

James Brownlow has been appointed as the launch Content Director for the new station.

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