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TLRC sells six more stations

The Local Radio Company is continuing to dispose of loss-making stations by selling Bath FM, Brunel FM, 3TR, Ivel FM, Vale FM and Pennine FM.

Three of the stations have been bought by Laser Broadcasting, with the others acquired by individuals. The news follows the disposal of Merseyside's 107.9 Dune FM just a couple of weeks ago.

Brunel, Bath and 3TR will now be owned by Laser, with Midwest Radio Ltd (owned by Ivel FM managing director Chris Carnegy) buying Ivel and Vale.

John Harding, the station manager of Pennine FM will now take full ownership of his station.

Out of the six stations, Pennine FM is only four months old, after a [link=https://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.3108.2]re-brand[/link] from Home FM in February, and Brunel FM is less than two years old having [link=https://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.1058.1]launched[/link] as a new licence in September 2006.

Richard Wheatly, executive chairman of TLRC, said: "Despite the difficult advertising environment in the radio industry our underlying business again continues to outperform the market across key operational measures. We have taken a number of major steps to improve operating performance, including the disposal of non-performing stations and continue to review all of our options in a consolidating market place to optimise our portfolio of stations. However, although our new online business continues to perform well the prospects for the advertising market as a whole remain uncertain in the current economic climate."

In addition, Portsmouth FC will up their share of a joint venture with TLRC which will see them own 50 per cent of The Quay in Portsmouth, Spirit FM in Chichester and Isle of Wight Radio. The football club currently holds a 25 per cent stake in these stations and will pay an extra one million pounds in September 2008.

The company has also agreed a new [link=https://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.3540]deal[/link] with GMG Radio to bring back the Jazz FM brand as a digital-only station, having disposed of that in 2002. The re-launched station will air in the autumn on Sky, online and DAB multiplexes in London, the North West and West Midlands.

"This represents a major opportunity for us to develop a new business in a market segment which is not currently being served by any UK radio broadcaster at low risk and with minimal cash investment. We are currently working with GMG and expect to begin broadcasting in late autumn," Wheatly said.

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