UK-wide Capital? How not to name a station

I saw that eyebrows were raised today when it was announced that BSkyB was going to close Channel One, just a month after relaunching it, and two months after buying it. I guess the half-hearted attempt at removing the Virgin branding from the channel formerly known as Virgin 1 should have been a kind of warning sign.

Channel One logoI mean, Channel One must be the rubbishest name for a television channel you could come up with. It is difficult to imagine a less creative option. Channel One would maybe be the perfect name for a channel when there were, say, two channels.

But in a world with BBC One, ITV1, Sky1 and Goodness Knows What Else One, it’s not very strong. I mean, surely they could have at least called it Zavvi.

(Sorry. You know I never miss an opportunity to deploy that joke.)

Capital FM logoI was also interested to see that Global Radio have decided to create something resembling a national commercial radio station. But I can’t help but wonder about the name they have chosen for it: Capital.

I see a slight problem with this. Now I might be wrong, but if there is one thing that brand says to me, it is London. So it seems a bit of an odd choice for the new UK-wide brand.

Global owns a number of brands including Heart, Xfm and Galaxy. None of these are so strongly associated with one geographical area. Even though they might not all fit in with the kind of station that Global plan on creating, surely Galaxy would have been the better option.

The explanation — “We are the capital of hit music” — is not very convincing. I think everyone knows that Capital is called Capital because it was originally a local station in London.

It’s all very interesting to consider this in the context of the future of local radio. Global are probably among the worst culprits playing a role in the slow erosion of local radio content. Now it seems as though they don’t think even pretending that their stations are local is the way to go. That is fair enough; it is their prerogative.

But I am still baffled as to why they have chosen to make their new station sound like a local London radio station being rebroadcast across the UK, rather than a UK-wide station that happens to be based in London. Bizarre.

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