Choice began in 1990 with a commercial radio licence for south London, broadcasting from Brixton with a mission to serve the local black community with music that didn't feature on mainstream radio - soca, gospel, rap, R&B and reggae. Later they were awarded an additional north London licence centred on Finsbury Park with a musical remit to play soul, dance, R&B and reggae. The station was sold to Capital in 2004, and is now part of Global Radio.
In October, Choice was rebranded Capital Xtra, several specialist music shows dropped from its roster and the DJs sacked. Global Radio say that the station had become financially unsustainable with not enough advertisers attracted to to it. Listeners had no warning and were not consulted.
Yesterday, Global Radio launched the first video advertisement for Capital Xtra, with the strapline Dance.Urban. Uk.
Opposers to the changes have complained to the regulator Ofcom, asking them to investigate whether Global Radio is in breach of the licences for the station, which state it should provide "a targeted music, news and information service primarily for listeners of African and Afro-Caribbean origin in Brixton and north London but with a crossover appeal to other listeners who appreciate urban contemporary music."
The protest rally led by The Voice newspaper and BECTU, the broadcast and entertainment union, will take place in Leicester Square outside Capital Xtra's headquarters between 2-3pm. Former Choice fm DJs Daddy Ernie, Natty B, DJ 279 and Dave P will be playing the music.