Radio groups oppose Global domination
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Radio groups oppose Global domination

Several radio groups have voiced their concerns over the takeover of GMG Radio by Global Radio.

Bauer says it could be bad news for commercial radio, whilst UKRD says it could lead to the eventual collapse of Radio Centre as a trade body.

If the combined group gained no objections after a public investigation by the Office of Fair Trading, it would have a market share of more than 50% of total commercial radio listening.

Executives at UTV Radio, which are thought to have made a rival bid for GMG Radio, are also not happy. They say a combined Global and GMG Radio “spells bad news for commercial radio.”

“We fail to see the public interest justification for such a move. Instead, the competition authorities should see this for what it is: an attempt to achieve an unassailable position of market dominance. Simply put, the proposed merger must not go ahead.”

Britain’s second largest commercial radio group Bauer believes the merger of Global and GMG Radio will be fully investigated by the competition authorities, saying “this combination will increase the dominant market position that Global already has in local and national markets and permanently lessen choice for radio advertisers”.

Absolute Radio has pointed out that in key ‘Out of London’ urban areas Global Radio’s market share would rise higher than 50% – in places such as Manchester 56%, Glasgow 53%, Birmingham 58% and Cardiff 61%.

“This deal would therefore enable Global Radio to distort fair and effective competition and provide no benefit to commercial radio’s listeners or advertisers,” they say.

UKRD, which owns around 20 local radio stations says their dominance must be a cause for serious concern in both national and local markets and the OFT is clearly going to have to conduct a fulsome investigation into this proposal”

CEO William Rogers: “There may well be a good number of reasons why it should not be allowed to proceed and we are considering our own representations to the OFT.

“Apart from the inevitable likely job losses and probable further erosion of employment prospects within the sector, one potential consequence may well be the eventual collapse of Radio Centre as a trade body. Clearly there is little point in having a trade body which will be so dominated by one player that all other opinion may as well not exist. I suspect this may well be a trigger for other operators to start seriously looking at alternatives; something that has not really been on the cards up until this point.”

RadioCentre are not getting involved at this stage, and sent us this statement: “RadioCentre have noted the sale of GMG Radio to Global, but do not comment on individual commercial decisions taken by our members. We will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of all our members to help deliver a thriving and sustainable future for commercial radio.”

Global Radio won’t announce their plans for re-branding, job losses or station re-locations until after investigations by the OFT.

0 18 2658 25 June, 2012 Industry News Monday, June 25th, 2012


  1. Rob

    I have just been discussing this Global domination with my partner, and our 9 year old daughter has piped-up “but Daddy that sounds like bacteria or weeds taking over everything!”  Never a truer word passed the lips of a child, I couldn’t have put it better myself!!

    1. Bobbybob

       Your little girl clearly is very intelligent. How true. Global radio are just that. An unhealthy bacteria infecting healthy radio stations and groups. Global radio’s cancer of networking everything, repeating the same songs across many of their brands (sometimes its hard to tell if its Capital, Heart or Choice you’re listening to) and on top of that, giving high rotation to acts such as The Wanted, Lawson, Cover drive and Rizzle Kicks all of whom are signed to Global publishing. Then there’s the case of many awful presenters who would struggle to host a show at other groups who encourage their presenters to be themselves and show some personalty. Shame on Richard Park who as once a major player in the industry. Clearly he’s just there for the money now.

    2. The Masked DJ

      So you’ve educated your daughter into thinking Ashley Tabor will eat her if she listens to a Global brand?

      Just when you thought you’d seen it all…

  2. Ian Gee HR Braintree

    ILR – Independent Local Radio is the collective name given to commercial radio stations in the United Kingdom. (well back in the 80’s!)
    Not very independent or local now :o

  3. dan dean

    Bauer and UTV….feel it is bad for Commercial Radio….yet it did not stop them putting a bid in!!

    1. Bobbybob

       You idiot, Firstly Bauer were not interested and secondly, even if UTV were the group buying gmg radio, they would have far less dominance in the radio industry. Know your facts before posting.

      This is just another example of a little rich boy playing with other peoples money in order to have a much bigger toy to play with.

      Tabor is a Steve Jobs/Rupert Murdoch wannabee with no regard to other peoples jobs and feelings. As for Richard Park, he’s now become a washed up has been who has clearly lost the ability to make good radio.

  4. Davewiggywiggins003

    Yes I Have To Go With These Several Radio Groups Utv And Bauer And Ukrd And Absoulute  And As A Listener  I Do Come From Gloucestershire And Yes I Do Not Want To See Gmg Radio Stations Real Radio And Smooth Radio And Real Radio Xs  In The Global Radio Group And Own By Global Radio So I Would Liked To Add My Voice On This Is Bad   Wright Now I Just Hope Ofcom And The  Secretary Of State  For Culture And Media Jeremy Hunt Mp And David Cameron  And Nick Clegg Do Stop This Gmg Radio Stations Real Radio And Smooth Radio And Real Radio Xs From Going In To Global Radio Group Wright Now Please Do Let Utv Or Bauer Media To Have And Own Gmg Radio Stations Now Please Do Not Let Global Radio Group To Have Gmg Radio Stations Please 

  5. Cbrownln6

    The prospect of Global taking over GMG is horrendous. This must NOT be allowed to go through for the sakes of Bauer, UKRD, Lincs FM Group, Orion, etc. From a listener’s point of view I have enough Crapital and Fart FM within earshot of Lincoln and do NOT want more of the same! Local radio should be Local, regional should be regional, Global should be pushed into a corner out of the way.

    1. Martin Kong

      The only thing that will happen is OFT will request Global to sell off some station, before giving it the go ahead.

    2. The Masked DJ

      Why shouldn’t it? Why should, say, Lincs FM Group’s Yorkshire stations be protected from having to compete with Heart? Lincs have two choices. One is that they continue playlisting Nicki Minajj – Starships next to Godley & Creme – Wedding Bells with Smashie & Nicey DJs doing eight links in the hour and risk Heart torpedoing them out the water, or accept that the 80s are over and modernise to face Global head-on. This, my friends, is called Competition. It’s a self-regulating way of making sure everyone does a good job if they don’t want to go bust.

  6. Radio Geordie

    Not surprised that every other radio group doesn’t like it.

    But given that UTV were one of the other bidders, I think they should keep quiet as they are likley to benefit from the takeover.

    If Smooth and Gold were merged, that would mean that the London AM licence (currently Gold) would be redundant.  This would likley be sold on – probably to Sunrise to broadcast yet another Asian service.

    As Global would own over 50% of the London marketplace, there’s a dam good chance that they would also have to sell at least 1 other licence (possibly LBC) which would be perfect for …. UTV.

    LBC would then move in with talkSPORT, they then get the spare capacilty on Digital One and move there and rename the service and rebrand it as talkSPORT’s sister station.

    The Gold AM licences in the East Midlands would be sold – possibly for another Asian service (possibly Sabras) whilst the Gold AM in Manchester would also be sold on, again for another Asian service (possibly Asian Sound Radio who are about to split their service).  Perfect timing for ASR.

  7. Radio Geordie

    Bauer were not one of the bidders.  It was Global, UTV and a group of venture capitalists (men in suits who think they how to run a radio station).
    Because many of GMG’s services broadcast in areas where Bauer also operate (London, Scotland and Northern England), they wouldn’t have been able to keep much of the group. 
    They may have been able to keep all but the London Smooth’s, Real Radio in Wales and possibly Real Radio XS (which would’ve been rebranded to Kerrang!)  Most of the Real Radio’s would’ve had to have been sold on.  As Smooth & Magic are near identical formats (Gold/Easy), the Magic AM’s would also have been sold on.

    In other words, the group would’ve been of little benefit to the company.

    Mind you, I’m surprised that Bauer haven’t attempted a takeover of Orion though.

  8. Dex Bracewell

    If Real or Smooth are taken over by Capital, my friends will listen to it a lot more and as a BBC person, I don’t want that nightmare to become true.

  9. james vincent

    real radio wales… one more service to delete from my channel line up when it rebrands to heart. capital what was red dragon and heart that was Bristol’s GWR i havent listened to since the change i wont do gobal services.

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