Devon Radio Ltd, part of Celador Entertainment, has sold its 40% shareholding in Radio Exe.
Paul Smith CBE, chairman Celador Entertainment, has also resigned as a director of Radio Exe meaning the ownership and control of the station is all local.
Devon Radio Ltd owns The Breeze in South Devon and 36 per cent of Radio Plymouth, leading to some speculation that one day Radio Exe may become part of The Breeze network. But Exe Broadcasting director Paul Nero tells RadioToday that was never the plan: “It’s not always been easy and we haven’t always got everything right, but we’ve watched with interest as supposedly knowledgeable people predicted Radio Exe would be swallowed up into a larger company. That’s never been on the cards. We’ve always made clear that, despite generous offers over the years, right now we’re buyers, not sellers.”
Earlier this month Radio Exe received its highest-ever listening figures. It now reaches 29,000 adults who listen for a combined 217,000 hours a week.
Radio Exe chairman Rex Rozario OBE adds: “We’d like to thank Celador for their interest in Radio Exe and send them every good wish for the future.”
The move has been backed by Exeter’s MP, the former Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Ben Bradshaw, who says: “The trend in British radio has been completely one way: national stations buying local ones and effectively closing them down. I’ve watched the hard work and commitment that local broadcasters have put into Radio Exe and it’s no surprise that they have prevailed in keeping Exeter’s station local.”