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12 March 2019

Bauer Media to Launch UK’s First National Country Music Station, Country Hits Radio

Bauer Media is expanding the recently-launched Hits Radio Network with another new national radio station – identifying a previously untapped area of the Hits Radio audience. Country Hits Radio will sit alongside newly launched Hits Radio and Greatest Hits Radio providing commercial partners with an exciting new opportunity to reach a clearly defined and valuable audience. As the third Bauer radio launch in as many months, Country Hits Radio is set to celebrate an exciting and growing country music scene, playing the very best pop country music, and the artists that are bringing the UK’s fastest growing music genre into the mainstream.

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, Bauer Media has again identified an untapped national opportunity for both listeners & advertisers.

With a playlist spanning Keith Urban, 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. 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.

Graham Bryce, Group Managing Director for Hits Radio and Greatest Hits Networks said “Country Hits Radio is a unique station which is an exciting development from the Hits Radio Network building on our recent launch of the Greatest Hits Network. Our insight tells us that this unique and valuable 25-44 year old music loving audience, love country music and live experiences, and we feel there is a wealth of opportunity around this station as it’s the first of its kind to realise the demand for this fast-growing genre.”

Bauer Media launched Scala Radio earlier this month – a new entertainment-led classical station which followed the acquisition of Jazz FM in 2018, two stations which saw Bauer move into completely new genres of music.  Country Hits Radio will sit alongside Hits Radio and Greatest Hits Radio, two further launches from Bauer Media in the last year. Country Hits will be based in Manchester and James Brownlow has been appointed as the launch Content Director for the station.

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



Further information: –

Cat Martin – Communications Director, Bauer Media
07932 746 363

Sian Collins – Senior Commercial Communication Executive
07718 124 791

About Country Hits

Country Hits Radio is the UK’s first national pop country music station. With a playlist catered to modern country music-lovers aged 25-44, the station plays artists including Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, The Shires, Lady Antebellum and Florida Georgia Line. Featuring presenters such as Baylen Leonard, Ty Bentli, and Una Healy, Country Hits Radio celebrates the vibrant and fast-growing genre, recognising the huge influence the music style has over pop music.

About Bauer Media UK:

Bauer Media UK reaches over 25 million UK consumers through a portfolio of world-class, multi-platform media and entertainment brands including heat, KISS, Grazia, Empire, Magic, Absolute Radio and the Hits Radio Network. These brands offer commercial partners access to highly engaged audiences, with creative solutions underpinned by insight and instinct. Bauer Media UK is part of the Bauer Media Group, one of the world’s largest privately-owned media businesses with media assets all over the globe.

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