News UK announces it will create Radio 4 rival

Charlie Spargo's picture

News UK has announced it will create a dedicated radio station based on the output of the Times and Sunday Times, named Times Radio.

Times Radio is set to be launched later in 2020, and will be broadcast nationally on DAB and online. TalkRADIO, the existing radio station run by Wireless Group, another subsidiary of News Corp, will continue to air alongside it instead of being replaced by it.

It will be free from advert breaks, but will still offer commercial opportunities for sponsors.

Former Radio 5 live producer Tim Levell has been named Times Radio's Programme Director, while Stig Abell - who is editor of the Times Literary Supplement, and was Managing Editor of The Sun until 2016 - is Launch Director.

News UK's Chief Executive, Rebekah Brooks, said: “We acquired Wireless in 2016 with a clear ambition to bring their audio expertise to our newsbrands.

"The Times and The Sunday Times deliver world-class journalism to a substantial and highly engaged audience and Times Radio will create a new speech radio outlet to reach an even broader audience who want quality reporting and trusted, expert commentary in real time.”

Editor of The Times, John Witherow, said: “Times Radio will provide provocative, well-informed, entertaining and useful discussion covering the key stories of the day, and informing the national conversation. Times Radio, infused with our world-class journalism, will be the perfect complement to our print and online offer.”