Isle of Wight Radio has been sold by UKRD/TLRC to the current management of the station, including current programme controller Paul Topping.
Claire Willis, former Area Director for The Local Radio Company joins forces with Paul Topping to take the station forward. It was previously part of the joint TLRC / Quadrant Media venture with Portsmouth FC. It has changed hands for an initial consideration of £130,000 plus a deferred consideration of £50,000 payable in February 2010.
Claire Willis said: "While much of the industry is being merged, networked and is losing its sense of community, Isle of Wight Radio will be building on its recent success in returning to what matters most. The team has already worked very hard to regain its local standing and the recent RAJAR results show the station is already winning back listeners.”
Meanwhile, Ian Walker, also joins the consortium. Ian has a wealth of radio industry knowledge, heading up one of the UK’s largest screen, staging and events companies. The natural synergy between Ian’s company and the radio station gives the new team exciting areas to explore for future growth on the Island.
Completing the new owners is Hedley Finn MBE, founder of the now international Radio Lollipop and the man who helped to establish the first commercial radio network version of the Top 40. He said; “As the station enters its 20th year on air, I am delighted to be part of the team that will help take Isle of Wight Radio back to its roots in being truly 'local' radio for the Island.”
Commenting on the sale, Managing Director of UKRD/TLRC, William Rogers, said: “I'd like to wish the station every success for the future. It is a good thing that a local team is to take on the management and running of the business and I hope that Isle of Wight Radio will go from strength to strength.”
In the latest RAJAR, the station had an audience of 33,000 listeners listening for 290,000 hours per week. In the ten months ended 31 July 2009 the station had a turnover of £519,024 and an operating loss of £176,521 after central costs. At 31 July 2009 the station had net liabilities of £168,542.