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TorDAB wins digital radio licence for South Devon

TorDAB News


6 January 2023


Three transmitters will reach more than 200,000 residents

A new digital radio network for South Devon is expected to launch later this year, after broadcast regulator Ofcom awarded a licence to the only wholly Devon-based group in the race to operate the service.

TorDab, led by online community station South Devon and supported by Torbay Weekly owner Clear Sky Publishing, together with the company behind Devon’s commercial station Radio Exe, will now set up three digital transmitters in Torbay and Teignbridge that will reach more than 200,000 residents.

Seven community stations backed TorDab’s bid, which faced competition from a group led by a Gloucestershire-based company. As well as bringing a suite of digital stations to South Devon, TorDab also intends to launch a rolling news service called Devon20Twenty, which will provide journalism and broadcast training to people of all ages. Radio Exe will also operate a station for local events and special occasions called Pop Up Devon.

South Devon is the latest area set to have a small-scale DAB radio network. Last month, Exeter became the first area in the south west to launch such a service, with eight radio stations broadcasting on DAB+ and reaching around 135,000 people indoors and 200,000 people outdoors. It has space available for around 25 stations in total, which will be the same in South Devon.

TorDab’s full application can be read on its website: – where anyone interested in launching a radio station in the area can also express an interest to do so. The hope is that a wide variety of formats will become available, such as student radio, hospital radio, stations servicing particularly musical tastes or events.

Announcing its decision, Ofcom recognised that TorDab’s team includes: “experienced individuals with a longstanding commitment to local radio in the area, and included a sensible business plan.”

Torbay Weekly editor Jim Parker, who chairs the group, says: “It’s a very happy new year. We couldn’t be more pleased that this network has been entrusted to us as local people who will encourage groups interested in launching radio stations aimed specifically for South Devon. We’ll now work hard to try to launch the network in 2023.”

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