Vega is dead, long live Classic Rock | radioinfo

Vega is dead, long live Classic Rock

Thursday 11 March, 2010
The new logos

DMG Radio will tomorrow announce the death of it's Vega brand. The station is now clearly positioning itself as a more active challenger for part of Gold Melbourne, WS Sydney and Triple M's audiences. In an overnight reimaging strategy, the stations will be branded Classic Rock from tomorrow. Gold, WS and the Ms have been gaining good audience share in recent surveys, in contrast with Vega, which has struggled towards the bottom of the ratings ladder in both Sydney and Melbourne.

DMG's Assistant Group Program Director Dan Bradley says the stations formerly known as vega, will be the only dedicated Classic Rock radio stations in Sydney and Melbourne.

"The timeless quality, the energy and the raw passion for Classic Rock music warrants a radio station dedicated to it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For those who grew up listening to AC/DC, INXS, Zeppelin and Chisel, Classic Rock 95.3FM and 91.5FM are stations they will love."

DMG Radio developed the new stations after an extensive strategic review of the Sydney and Melbourne markets in recent months choosing a name not too far different from ARN's 'Classic Hits' slogan.

In building these new stations DMG needed a "simple, focused music concept that would appeal to the 35-54 audience," according to CEO Cathy O'Connor.

She says Classic Rock 95.3FM and Classic Rock 91.5FM will be "a celebration of an era of music which evokes enormous passion from adult listeners."

Breakfast presenters Maroon in Sydney and Dicko and Dave in Melbourne, will retain their shifts. The station went to minimalist announcer content in other shifts recently, in preparation for its secret plans to relaunch. Alice Cooper's US radio show will also be heard on the station and Barry Bissell's Cover to Cover will remain in the schedule.

A Classic Hits format generally includes rock and pop targeted at baby boomers who want more sophisticated but less heavy guitar music from their era, in contrast with 'Oldies,' 'Memories' or 'Gold' format listeners who are more likely to want a mixture of some early style of pop and rock'n'roll from the 1950s mixed in with later eras. The Classic Hits format currently centres around music from the 1970s.

The Classic Rock format developed out of the wider ranging Classic Hits format, and excludes the more 'soppy' softer end of the genre to give the station a heavier edge. Heavy lead guitar is a characteristic of much of the music played on a Classic Rock format, reflected by the 'guitar lead' graphic in the logo. With the passing of time the heavy guitar sound, which used to be thought of as a turn-off for some listeners, has now become widely acceptable to many listening segments in the target demographics.

Triple M used to dominate this format position, but in recent years has vacillated between confidence in the format and the desire to to grow younger in its music sound, aiming to attract a wider audience. Triple M's recent focus on more sport leaves a gap in the market which Classic Rock will be hoping to exploit.

That makes two big changes for DMG in the past week (see our earlier story about longer ad breaks.)

To remember the launch of Vega in July 2005, click below to read radioinfo's story from that time.

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