Midlands over-50s radio station Saga 105.7fm will be switching its name to Smooth Radio and moving to a younger-sounding output in an attempt to target Radio 2 listeners.
The change in tone is part of a rebranding exercise by new company owners Guardian Media Group, which bought the three Saga stations in the UK for an undisclosed sum in December last year.
Managing director Phil Dixon said Birmingham-based Saga had been suffering from under investment for the last three years, although the number of average weekly listeners rose to more than 400,000 in 2006. He added that Smooth Radio would be "aggressively" targeting Radio 2 listeners by tweaking the station's line-up and music.
GMG chief executive John Myers is hoping to use the network of regional Saga stations to bring in more mature listeners who appreciate older music and presenters with local knowledge.
He said: "In our view, Saga was aiming slightly too old. I have a feeling Saga, like the old Radio 2, had more people listening than ever admitted it, because they didn't want to be classed as old. But that over-40 audience, cash-and time-rich, was part of Saga's success story."
Mr Myers said that the most important advantage the new West Midlands Smooth Radio station would have over its BBC competitor would be the local news coverage. He said: "Music is a given. It's what we do between the songs that matters.
"We have to keep listeners there with what's between. We have to reflect life. What's the North West talking about today? That's what we'll be talking about in the North West. Radio 2 can outspend us, but they can't out-regionalise us."
The Smooth Radio brand is being spread across all of GMG's regional radio stations, including the Saga channels, and Jazz FM stations in Manchester and London. When Mr Myers took over the Saga radio group he started a #1,000 competition for staff to think of a new name for the rebranded station.
But the prize was never claimed, because none of the ideas suggested by Saga staff were as good as Smooth, which had already been thought of, he claimed.
Saga radio started in 1994 as the first radio station to specifically target the over-50s.
The West Midlands branch of Saga radio was the first radio franchise to open under the name in October 2001.
There are currently three regional Saga stations across the country, with a further one set to open in the North East later this year.