Changes in the Radio Industry

22nd March 2019 Corporate

As a former radio broadcaster, I like to keep an eye (and an ear) on what is happening in the radio industry.

Radio has undergone big changes since Global Radio acquired some stations and rebranded some of its existing radio stations to expand its Capital and Heart brands.

Over the last few months, Global’s rival Bauer Media has acquired a number of radio groups.

In February, Bauer acquired Celador Radio and Lincs FM Group. Celador run twenty-five radio stations across East Anglia, Thames Valley, Solent and the South West. Lincs FM group run nine radio stations across Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Rutland.

Later that month, Scala Radio, which is part of the Bauer Media Group, acquired the Wireless local radio stations from News UK. Wireless local operate fifteen radio stations in Lancashire, Cheshire, Shropshire, Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, Staffordshire and South Wales.

In March, Bauer acquired the UKRD Group of ten radio stations across Yorkshire, East Anglia and the South and South West of England.

On 5th March, the Competition and Markets Authority announced that it was to investigate the three deals namely the Bauer Radio / Lincs FM merger, Bauer Radio / Celador Entertainment merger and the Scala Radio / Wireless Group merger.

The media industry (and I) will watch with interest to see what the outcome of the investigations will be.

It will also be interesting to see whether Bauer Radio / Scala rebrand the stations as The Hits and Greatest Hits or whether the stations will continue to operate under their existing station names. My guess is that the Hits and Greatest Hits are coming to a radio near you!

JMW can advise in all aspects of mergers and acquisitions including media and sport acquisitions. For further information please contact our Corporate team 0345 872 6666.

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Dominic Walker is a Solicitor located in Manchesterin our Media Law department

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