UTV Media is to close its Preston based station, Central Radio and hand the licence back to the industry regulator, Ofcom.
Staff were informed of Central Radio’s imminent closure at a meeting held at the station earlier today. The station will cease broadcasting on the 24th December.
UTV won the radio licence for Preston, Leyland and Chorley in December 2006 and launched the station in September 2008.
This marks the third station closure by UTV in a year. Just 12 months ago, the company announced it was closing Talk 107 in Edinburgh on Christmas Eve 2008. The station actually closed a day earlier than expected on December 23rd. In April this year, South Wales' Valleys Radio was also closed by the Stoke-on-Trent based group.
Commenting on the latest closure, Calum Macaulay, Director of Local Radio for UTV Media, said: “We won the licence against strong competition, but unfortunately had to launch the station in the middle of the worst recession in memory. We have been looking closely at the station’s viability and unfortunately given the economic climate we have taken the difficult decision to close the station.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of Central Radio. The station’s closure is no reflection on the effort and hard work they have put in since the station’s inception and I wish them all success in their future endeavours.”