More managers leave ex-GMG Radio stations
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More managers leave ex-GMG Radio stations

Real and Smooth Ltd has made a reduction in staff and management positions as it gets ready for a future under Global Radio.

The company will not confirm the number of people affected, but those leaving include Real Radio’s Brand Director Mark Matthews, Group Head of Marketing Helen Dickinson and Communications Managers Malcolm Packer and Joe Burton.

These are in addition to the presenters and producers who left last week as Real Radio introduced networked daytimes.

We’re told it’s all part of a restructure within the programming functions to secure the long-term “efficiency and profitability” of the business, which has been people from marketing, PR and administrative teams leave the company during October.

Real and Smooth Limited Chief Executive Mark Lee said: “The changes to Real Radio will lead to a restructure within the programming functions and this will inevitably lead to a reduction in staff. It was also an appropriate time to assess the structure of some group functions within the company and we are also planning to reduce staff within our marketing, PR and administrative teams.

“These changes are no reflection on the commitment, talent and passion of the people involved but have been part of the long-term business plan for the group and are necessary to increase the efficiency and profitability of the business.”

Mark Matthews, who has been with the company for five years, told “I’ve loved being involved in so many great projects in my five years at GMG Radio. From the Smooth Documentaries to the launch of Rock Radio and the refocussing of Real Radio I think we did some really creative and innovative stuff. And let’s not forget two Sony Gold’s and an Arqiva for Real Breakfast shows over the last two years. Good Times.”

Before Real Radio, Mark was North West Regional Managing Director at TLRC, MD at 2BR and Programme Director at Kiss 100 London. Before management, Mark presented on many stations including as launch breakfast show host at Rock FM.

Helen Dickinson has been with the company for over a decade, and previously worked with former CEO John Myers on the launch of Century Radio NW in 1998. In 2005 Helen was appointed as Group Marketing Manager.

“I’ve had a fantastic 10 years helping to build two of Britain’s strongest commercial radio brands, and am now looking at future challenges where creative marketing can make a real difference,” Helen told

Last month Real Radio Wales’ Managing Director Tony Dowling left to join a newspaper group, Group Commercial Director Jonathan Gillespie left in September and CEO Stuart Taylor left with immediate effect when GMG sold their radio division.

Real and Smooth Ltd is currently waiting for the outcome of an investigation by the Competition Commission after Global Radio bought the company in June 2012.

0 17 1649 18 November, 2012 Industry News Sunday, November 18th, 2012


  1. Len Groat

    “Real and Smooth Ltd is currently waiting for the outcome of an investigation by the Competition Commission after Global Radio bought the company in June 2012.”

    So does that, and Mark Lee’s comment, “these changes are no reflection on the commitment, talent and passion of the people involved” mean all these people will get their jobs back if the commission decides AGAINST Global ?!

    1. James Martin

      Not really. It’s normal in this situation to “second-guess” the new regime and it’s in their best interests for the time being to assume, for example, Real will join the Heart network. Similar thing happened back in 2008 with the “separately-held” One Network stations – there was a gravitation towards Heart in terms of music and style well ahead of when Global officially took control.

  2. Dave Wiggy Wiggins

    It Is Bad Now That The Managers Are Leaving And Walking Away From Real Radio And Smooth Radio Wright Now I Do Just Hope That Simon Bates And AndyPeebles Or David Jensen Do Have A Try And Buy Smooth Radio Them Self Wright Now And Keep Smooth Radio Going Them Self Wright Now For Good Do Not Let Global To Get Their Hands On Smooth Radio Now Please

    1. MB

      Global have already bought Smooth Radio (and the rest of GMG Radio), the purchase of the group has been completed. The Competition Commission will decide on 27th March 2013 how much of GMG Radio they should be allowed to keep.

      I think it’s reasonable to assume that they will keep the Real stations (to create a quasi-national Heart network). If they are forced to dispose of any stations it’s likely to be Smooth, and possibly the existing Capital & Heart stations in Wales.

      If the Competition Commission comes to this conclusion Global will invite interested parties to bid for these stations.

      1. Radio Geordie

        Global don’t need to get rid of Capital or Gold in Wales due to the 2 plus 1 ownership rule.

        Global would only own Capital, Gold and Real.
        Town & Country own Nation Radio (Regional)
        Bauer own the other regional in the area – Kiss
        The plus 1 is the BBC stations.

        By my maths, that’s three commercial owners broadcasting to the Cardiff area.

        North Wales however is a different story as Global own both the regional (Real) and the only local licences (currently under the Heart banner).

        The Heart service in the Wirral may be sold also as the North West service covers the area. But then again they could Capitalise it.

        1. MB

          The 2 plus 1 rule is no longer in force, it has been scrapped. There is a possible outcome of Global keeping Real Wales, Capital South Wales & Heart North Wales.

          Global have submitted an offer to Ofcom of enhanced news coverage on Real, but it’s conditional on them keeping ALL of their current Welsh stations.

          Why would they bother doing that if they know that Heart North Wales will have to be offloaded?

    2. Declan Mcgrath

      Dave its to late for god sake. ! Global have got the stations.! And change the damm record and im gonna take the caps and shift key off your key off your keyboard.!

    3. Radio Geordie

      For F***’s sake, give it a rest will you.

      And get some comas and full stops for Xmas. Better still, buy a computer that have them.

  3. hallwood860

    I would hope the Real stations were forced to be sold off, then you could have someone like Absolute Radio or UKRD owning them – at least it’d be local still, and no more networked daytimes.

    Real would be quite a coup for Absolute Radio to own; give them a competitve edge.

    Absolute could run Real way better than Global could; so could UKRD, too.

    1. Dave Wiggy Wiggins

      Do You Think It Be Local Think Again Here In Gloucestershire Global Do Own Heart 102 .4

      It Is Network Shows From London The Only Two Shows What Heart Gloucestershire Got On Is The Breakfast Show And The DriveTime Show All The Other Shows Are Network From London And Yes We Got Gold 774 Here In Gloucestershire As Well But All The Gold Shows Come From London No Local Shows At All On Gold 774 Here In Gloucestershire It Is A Switch Off And That Is True I Can Tell You

  4. Radio Geordie

    What a load of Bull***t.

    What they really mean is “as we get closer to decision day, we are stripping back to the bare necessities and getting Real ready for the almost immediate switch to Heart and for Smooth to become Gold”.

    Personally, I think they should be made to sell all of the Smooths on. That way, Global won’t be able to dominate the marketplace.

    1. Mr Severn Sound Fm

      Shat It U Gay Old Fart And Get A Life.

      Smooth Is Going For Good. It Does Not Work In London So Its Going To Be Replaced With Gold.

      Galaxy Would Never Work In London So Became Capital Instead Of Capital Into Galaxy.

      Please Retire From These Forums Comments Sections Now. That Would Be Good Wright Now. Just Like When You Got Banned From Digital Spy Forums.

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