SINGAPORE: Mediacorp on Monday (Jul 17) said it will discontinue transmission of Lush 99.5FM from Sep 1 as part of a rationalisation of its network of radio stations.
Lush began in 2004 and was positioned as an indie music station. It gradually built a niche following but the station’s audience has steadily declined over the years to about 50,000 weekly at present, Mediacorp said in a statement. And despite efforts to increase the number of listeners, the station has consistently garnered the lowest audience among the company's radio stations.
Lush listeners are increasingly being served online and on alternative platforms.
Mediacorp said it has decided to focus on growing overall listenership by consolidating its resources and efforts on its five other English stations.
At the same time, it will incorporate key elements of Lush’s unique brand of entertainment in the mix of content featured on those stations, it said.
New programming plans and a renewed line-up will be announced later this year.
A key part of Lush’s programming was to support the local arts and music scene, Mediacorp said.
"This will continue despite the closure of Lush. In fact, local content will be given strong prominence in Mediacorp’s new Singapore Sounds initiative which will be launched on 987 – which will feature home-grown artistes and mainstream local music – and on 938LIVE, which will feature independent artists.
"There will be prominent coverage on the stations’ respective social media platforms and 8days.sg. The Singapore Sounds initiative also aims to connect industry players and encourage them to organise events that interest and resonate with local audiences."
It added that local musicians will also be featured on key Mediacorp programmes on Toggle and television, such as during the Countdown show.
Mediacorp said "it is grateful to all listeners who have supported Lush 99.5FM through the years".