Bauer Media is to launch a classical entertainment radio station, Scala Radio, with the BBC’s Simon Mayo at the helm.
The media company is banking on interest from younger listeners, who it noted are switching onto classical music for the first time to emotionally ‘escape the noise of modern life’ via digital channels.
It added a boom in the experience economy has led to more people seeking out live orchestral music.
A spokesperson confirmed Scala’s pitch to advertisers will centre on this core audience of ABC1 listeners and artistic, cultural and musical events.
Mayo, a BBC DJ and fan of Jason Isaacs, will head up the commercial station’s talent with a mid-morning entertainment show. He will be joined by the good doctor Mark Kermode – Mayo’s presenting partner and fellow Isaacs devotee – as well as Goldie, Angellica Bell and 19-year-old composer Jack Pepper.
Scala’s content promises music from classical greats and modern contemporaries, alongside topical feature shows on subjects from gaming to mindfulness.
Steve Parkinson, Bauer Group managing director, National Radio said, “We are launching new radio brands at great velocity and we believe that Scala is the most exciting new personality-led radio station launch in years. The mix of music, personality and conversation will make it both intriguing and completely unique.
“We’ve completely re-imagined a format and designed it to appeal to a modern audience. This will be the very best in classical music for today.”
Mayo added: “There are hundreds of radio stations playing rock and pop, and only two classical music stations up until now. We’re different because we’re going all out to entertain, laugh with the listeners, and have a good time. Some of it will be familiar, some new and exciting but all timeless, beautiful and all absolutely relevant to today.”
Scala will launch in the UK on 4 March.