The move follows as a similar route taken by GMG’s North West Jazz FM in March 2004.
102.2 Smooth FM will launch within six months, bosses said today, with the help of a multi-million pound marketing television and outdoor campaign across the capital.
GMG Radio chief executive John Myers said it had been a “sad fact of life” that the Jazz FM brand had failed to make a profit in its 15 years.
He added: “There are not enough people who like jazz music to make it a viable proposition and this has been a fact for 15 years now.”
“We are caught between not playing enough jazz to please the purist and having the name jazz fm which inhibits trial from other listeners.
In a clear pledge to see the Smooth FM brand establish a major foothold in the capital, GMG said it hoped to see the new station battle it out in the fiercest radio market in the country.
Myers said: “We believe this station has enormous potential and will soon be among London’s top five commercial stations.”
By Kevin May