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4Radio Seeks Branded DAB Radio Tuner For iPods, Mobiles

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Channel 4 Radio is talking to DAB radio makers about launching a £20 branded mini tuner for iPods and mobile phones, as it looks to build a head of steam for the format ahead of launching its own DAB multiplex, The Times claims. 4Radio is due to unveil several of its own new DAB channels, plus channels from broadcast partners, after winning the race last year to operate a second DAB multiplex. The Times’ assertion C4 believes the tuner can “rescue” DAB is likely overblown – such gadgets already exist, like the one from Roberts Radio pictured here – and it’s likely C4 is merely talking to such companies about putting its logo on a white-label version. But DAB has been facing some problems…

After costs for operating the original DAB multiplex spiralled under her predecessor Ralph Bernard, new GCap CEO Fru Hazlitt sought to fend off a Global Radio takeover by selling off GCap’s interest in the network, along with a handful of digital stations, planning instead to focus on broadband (see our coverage). That strategy failed and GCap will shortly become part of Global – a company that will still be lumbered with much of the digital burden and which, reports suggest, 4Radio has approached in a plea to shore up its own interest in the medium.