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Owen wants Midlands network

Former programme controller and operations director of BRMB Mike Owen has put together a consortium to make an offer for the Midlands radio businesses currently for sale by GCap Media.

The development follows the ruling by the Office of Fair Trading, in which Global Radio’s takeover of GCap Media was given the go-ahead as long as it disposed of stations in the Midlands.

The stations, which include BRMB in Birmingham, Beacon Radio in Wolverhampton, and Mercia in Coventry are to be sold off by Global in order to satisfy competition concerns.

Several of the stations formed part of the former Midlands Radio group, which consisted of Radio Trent (Nottingham and Derby), Leicester Sound, BRMB, Mercia and all their relevent AM licences. These stations were then sold to Capital Radio before being bought again by GWR, with the exception of BRMB.

Midlands-based Mike Owen told RadioToday.co.uk: "My phone has been red hot with people ringing to express interest in creating a locally based consortium that would bring radio back to the region. ITV is withdrawing its local content and the audience has shown that they are not interested in networked commercial radio programming from London.

"Buying BRMB, Beacon and Mercia as well as the potential of the AM services would be a golden opportunity. We already have the financing in place to handle the business elements of an offer and I am totally confident the stations would make money. It will be brilliant to recreate stations in the Midlands that dominated the market 25 years ago!"

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