Ulster Television and The Local Radio Company has entered into an agreement for all 17 of the ILR stations owned by Ulster to be represented by TLRC’s national sales house, First Radio Sales.
In the agreement, FRS will become a jointly owned venture with TLRC transferring a 50% stake in FRS to UTV in return for the contract and a cash payment of ?500,000.
Under this agreement FRS will now represent 113 local radio stations across the UK accounting for 46.6 million hours per week, which is 13% of all local commercial listening. FRS will also become the second or third largest radio sales point in each of the main TV regions outside London.
Richard Wheatly will be Chairman of the jointly owned venture and Neil Webster, currently Managing Director of TLRC’s FRS operation, will be Managing Director of the new, enlarged operation.
Commenting, Richard Wheatly, Chief Executive of TLRC, said: ‘This joint venture will be a compelling force in the national radio sales market providing clients with a fantastic buying opportunity for local radio. We are delighted to be working closely with the team at Ulster.’
Scott Taunton, Managing Director of UTV Radio, said: ‘The existing team in FRS have demonstrated the value of ILR stations to national advertisers. With the addition of UTV’s 17 stations and the integration of sales teams, I am confident that this proposition will be further strengthened.