Clear Channel's internet radio streaming arm, iHeartRadio, today announced it is bringing long-time BBC radio personality Pete Tong, a dance/electronica DJ and founder of FFRR Records, to the US to host a show called 'All Gone Pete Tong' that will launch on the network's new EDM channel Evolution.
The format will expose listeners to dance music not played on Top 40 and will also feature shows by other established DJ's such as Diplo, Wolfgang Gartner and Fatboy Slim and a rundown of the Top 10 dance hits on EDM-focused online music store Beatport.
In the midst of an EDM boom stateside, iHeartRadio is hoping to capitalize on the streaming radio market with Tong's legacy as an established figure in the EDM community.
"We know that we needed to have that kind of credibility in anything we created," said Tom Poleman, Clear Channel's president of national programming platforms, to the New York Times in an interview.
"There's been a huge rise in the popularity of dance music in America," said Tong to the Times. "I think that there's so much more to the genre and that's what Evolution is going to be about: broadening the base, providing the platform for the other 95 percent."
Evolution will be the first EDM outlet on iHeartRadio with mainly live radio hosts, as others like Electric Sound Stage and Trancid are "playlist stations," music without much of a show host presence. The channel will begin on Monday (Nov. 13) with Mr. Tong hosting the station for an engtire week. A full schedule of programming will begin the following week, featuring "All Gone Pete Tong," a two-hour live show from Tong each weeknight.
The announcement comes on the heels of radio giant Clear Channel's improved third-quarter results, which mentioned that the total listener hours of iHeartRadio - a direct competitor to Pandora and Spotify Radio - are up over 100% - though 95% of the company's listening continues to happen on traditional radio.
Accompanying the launch of the 'All Gone Pete Tong' radio program will be an ten date North American tour and a double disc 'All Gone Pete Tong: Future Sounds' CD compilation that Tong mixed with Cadenza star Reboot for Defected Records.
Tong recently celebrated 20 years at BBC Radio 1 hosting the electronic music radio shows, The Pete Tong Show, and The Essential Mix.