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Cheshire FM boss buys Dune

A community radio station chief has, for the first time, bought a commercial radio station. David Duffy, chief executive of Cheshire FM and owner of NIOCOM Limited has acquired Dune FM from The Local Radio Company.

As revealed last week exclusively by RadioToday.co.uk, the Southport station has been sold by TLRC four years after it was bought from Forward Media.

Since then, the station has seen a drop in audience by over 12,000 listeners and seen its average hours drop from 236,000 to 87,000 and share down from 5.9 per cent to 2.2 per cent.

However, Duffy is positive about the purchase: “Despite much increased competition in recent years, Dune FM has been trading consistently. With a renewed focus on strong local programming and some effective promotion, we believe 107.9 Dune FM has a great future ahead.”

Dune FM currently takes network programming on weekday evenings and weekends from other TLRC stations in the group. It is not known at this stage when more local programming will commence.

Richard Wheatly, executive chairman of TLRC, said: "We are always reviewing our portfolio of stations and are looking to focus the efforts of the group. This process is ongoing and we will update the market as appropriate with any further developments in this area."

The team behind NIOCOM have previously won and launched Wire FM in Warrington, and have also been tipped to be interested in buying Knowsley-based KCR 106.7 but no further details are available at this time.

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