Celador Radio has bought the FM local radio licence for Swindon from More Radio Ltd, taking the number of licences owned by the group to 14.
The station originally launched as Brunel FM in September 2006 by TLRC and has since been known as TotalStar and More Radio.
Celador bought More’s former sister stations in Warminster and Bath last year, and also now owns another former TotalStar station in Bridgwater.
Celador currently runs 9 of its licences as The Breeze, with the latest two to join the network being Andover Sound and Newbury Sound. It has 2 JACK fm stations in Bristol and on the South Coast, while MidWest Radio – acquired just before Christmas – still broadcasts under its old name.
The group says the Swindon station will continue to provide the existing service as More Radio for the immediate future and will remain in the ‘Lime Kiln’ Wootton Bassett studios which were previously owned by Wiltshire Radio/GWR between 1982 and 2005.
Paul Smith, Chairman of Celador Radio told Radio Today that running a station like More in a competitive market like Swindon on its own was very tough. “Heart couldn’t be any stronger anywhere than it is here,” he said. “I think that small singly-owned independent stations are going to struggle hugely. Whenever they’re consolidated central resources mean the overheads are able to be reduced and there’s more likelihood that they will become at least breaking even, if not profitable.”
More Radio will come under the control of Steve Jones, Managing Director of Celador Radio’s south west region.
We’ve got more from our interview with Celador’s Paul Smith in this week’s eRADIO – out Wednesday morning at 9am!