Radio: Bauer announce brand new station, Country Hits Radio.
019 is the year that Country Music goes mainstream, as it’s announced today that the UK will soon have its first ever national country music station. Country Hits Radio is a new radio station from Bauer Media (Hits Radio, Magic, KISS FM, Absolute Radio) and will celebrate this exciting and fast-growing music scene - playing the very best pop country music, and the artists that are crossing over into the charts.
With a playlist spanning Keith Urban, Kacey Musgraves, Thomas Rhett, Maren Morris, Florida Georgia Line, Dan + Shay and Carrie Underwood, Country Hits Radio will appeal to modern country music-lovers aged 25-44. News of the ground-breaking new launch follows on from C2C: Country 2 Country music festival which took place over the weekend - the biggest festival of its kind outside of the US.
Esteemed country music radio host Baylen Leonard (BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4) will join the station for a daily weekday show, fresh from his win of International Country Broadcaster at the 2019 CMA International Awards. Bringing his passion and knowledge of country music, Nashville’s Ty Bentli will share the best music and news from the US country scene Monday to Friday and singer-songwriter Una Healy (The Saturdays, The Voice of Ireland) will also join the station for a weekend show.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Una Healy said “When you look at the success of artists such as The Shires and Ward Thomas as well as huge events like Country 2 Country, it’s clear there’s a real audience for country music in the UK. It’s a genre I’ve fallen in love with and it’s thrilling that it now has a home in Country Hits Radio. I can’t wait to get started!”
The UK contemporary country music scene is growing rapidly with album sales topping 1.9M in 2017; singles sales up by over 31% in the last six years; and a burgeoning live gig & festival scene. With a reported 8.7 million fans now listening to country music in the UK, it’s the biggest genre of music to have previously been without its own radio station.
During launch week next month, the station will play host to guest appearances from some of the hottest stars in country music, including Chase Rice, Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde, Brett Eldredge and Jimmie Allen.
As the third new station launch from Bauer Media this year – following on from Greatest Hits Radio and Scala Radio – Country Hits Radio is proof radio is thriving, with digital radio and online providing more choice for listeners than ever before.
Listen to Country Hits Radio from 5th April on DAB Digital Radio, online, via smart speakers and mobile apps. Further information on how to listen can be found at www.countryhitsradio.co.uk