Global Radio decides not to appeal CAT
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Global Radio decides not to appeal CAT

Global Radio has decided not to appeal the recent decision by the Competition Appeal Tribunal to uphold the Competition Commission’s decision on Global Radio’s takeover of GMG Radio.

Instead the company will now work towards selling radio stations in seven areas of the UK, as originally instructed to do so in May this year.

Global Radio originally bought GMG Radio in June 2012 and if it was to appeal the appeal – it would add at least another year to the process.

GMG Radio’s assets – now operating in a Hold Separate situation under the name of Real and Smooth Ltd – include the Real Radio network and four Smooth-branded stations.

In a statement to RadioToday, Global Radio said: “Global has today announced that it has decided not to appeal the CAT’s decision to uphold the Competition Commission’s (CC) decision in the Global-GMG radio merger.

“The CC found that Global was cleared to operate all the merged businesses’ stations in London and the West Midlands, and also cleared the merged business at the national level in terms of both national sales and programming content. The CC, however, required divestment of stations in seven local markets.

“Global will now proceed with that divestment with announcements not expected until early 2014.”

As a reminder, the stations Global are required to sell are as follows:

East Midlands: Smooth OR Capital
Cardiff and South Wales: Real OR Capital
North Wales: Real OR Heart
Greater Manchester and the North-West: Capital OR Real XS with either Real or Smooth
North-East: Real OR Smooth OR Capital
South and West Yorkshire: Real OR Capital
Central Scotland: Real OR Capital

RadioToday understands more announcements will be made by Global Radio in February.

1 7 3511 15 December, 2013 Industry News Sunday, December 15th, 2013


  1. Dan Gold

    My predictions of the stations that will be sold.

    East Midlands: Smooth
    Cardiff and South Wales: Real
    North Wales: Real
    Greater Manchester and the North-West: Real XS with Real
    North-East: Real
    South and West Yorkshire: Real
    Central Scotland: Real

    1. Mystic Meg

      I think your Scottish and Welsh predictions are wrong. Capital to be sold in Scotland and South Wales in my humble (and informed) opinion

      1. James Vincent

        I will b happy if they sell capital here in South East Wales. I stopped listening the day Red Dragon FM died. They’d probably wanna keep Real Radio Wales as that’ll give them a much bigger listener audience.

  2. Bright Spark

    In Yorkshire, the predictions are harder – what will be sold: Real or Capital. Now if Capital was sold UTV could purchase it and it would become Juice and Real becomes Heart. However if Real was sold, then the options are:
    – Orion could bung Free Radio on the 106-108 frequency and network the lot from Birmingham (including Breakfast and Drivetime).
    – Media Sound Holdings could rebrand the station to White Rose FM and again network the lot from Worthing (again including Breakfast and Drivetime).
    – Celedor could Breeze-ify the station and network from wherever their main studios are or alternativley they could Jack-ify the station and sack all the presenters.

    1. MB

      It will be much simpler than that. A new company that nobody has heard of before will take the Reals and operate them as Heart under a franchise agreement. That just leaves the East Midlands where the same company will probably operate Capital under franchise.

    2. Radio Geordie

      Its most likely that the local/regional Capital services are the ones to be sacrificed which would also be seen as an admission by Global that the rebrand (from Galaxy, Trent, Red Dragon etc.) failed.

      However, the London FM service is likely to follow its sister Choice service (now Capital Xtra) onto the national DAB platform as Jazz FM leaves in two weeks (although another site (Radio Now) claims that MAGIC is coming).

      It was no secret that Global wanted the Real services to give them a near unbroken link of Heart stations from Cornwall to the Scottish borders. As for Smooth, I doubt they would sell them after Global have just recently moved the London service into the Leicester Square mothership and made alterations to the stations format. Why do that if they were planning on selling them?

      If true, it appears that JACK FM is likely to replace whatever services Global are selling as their overall holding page is suggesting that they are to launch soon (although its been saying that for the better part of 6 months now) to Scotland, Wales, East Midlands, Yorkshire, North East, North West & London (although how it could operate on FM in London when none of the services are being sold remains a mystery).

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