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Michaela Jefferson 

Bauer Media launches its first LGBTQ+ dedicated radio station

Bauer Media launches its first LGBTQ+ dedicated radio station

In partnership with The Co-operative Bank, commercial radio broadcaster Bauer Media is launching its first national LGBTQ+ pop-up station: Hits Radio Pride.

The new digital station is to run for six months from August 28 and will feature 21st century artists who are particularly popular in the LGBTQ+ community, including Lady Gaga, Lizzo, Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, and Years and Years.

The launch comes following the cancellation of this year's Pride events across the UK, a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

"It’s never been more vital to offer a platform for people to come together, and with Hits Radio Pride we plan to create the UK’s biggest Pride party where everyone can feel empowered to be themselves," said Hits Radio presenter Jordan Lee.

Initially the pop-up station will be available on DAB in Bradford, Stoke, Swansea, Liverpool and Northern Ireland, as well as on DAB+ in London. It will also be available nationally online, on smart speakers and through the Hits Radio app.

Hits Radio Pride is to be launched in partnership with The Co-operative Bank, in a deal brokered by Omnicom-owned media agency Hearts & Science. According to Bauer, the radio station will enable the brand to "further its position as a welcoming, inclusive bank".

“With its fantastic Proud Together initiative, The Co-operative Bank was the ideal partner for us, allowing us to offer something completely unique that addresses our audiences’ needs and provides a platform for them to cement their commitment around equality and acceptance," Abby Carvosso, group MD at Bauer Advertising, commented.

"In doing something that no other major broadcaster has done before, Hits Radio Pride will truly celebrate diversity and inclusivity, reflecting all of society and our commitment to serving our wide range of audiences.”

Deb Darlington, brand director at The Co-operative Bank, added: “This is an opportunity to elevate the importance of inclusivity and diversity, which are values we have at the heart of our business and help differentiate us as the original ethical bank."

According to Bauer Media's own research, 88% of people have listened to radio since lockdown, with 25% stating that they had listened to more radio than they had prior to the crisis.

Bauer radio stations also recorded uplifts in streaming during lockdown, peaking at an increase of 40% in the last week of May.

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