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Time to reinvigorate radio

We now have a once in a lifetime opportunity as an industry to reinvigorate Commercial Radio. That's the view of RadioCentre chief executive Andrew Harrison, speaking at the RAB conference in London on Thursday.

Chief executives from Global, Bauer, UTV, GMG and Absolute were present for the event in London yesterday, along with 150 commercial radio customers.

Ashley Tabor and Richard Park from Global Radio, Dee Ford from Bauer Radio, Donnach O’Driscoll from Absolute Radio, UTV's Scott Taunton and Stuart Taylor from GMG Radio spoke to the major advertisers and media agencies with their collective vision for the UK commercial radio sector.

Andrew Harrison told delegates: “This is a new era for our industry – in the last year £1bn of private money has been invested into radio groups and this ownership change provides an ideal opportunity for re-evaluation and revitalising the medium for advertisers.”

At the event in central London, the sector unveiled a £3 million advertiser partnership fund which will be invested to help individual advertisers get more from their radio activity. The Radio Advertising Bureau will work with advertisers to ensure that they get the support that is most relevant to the challenges facing their brands – this could take the form of research, creative consultation or idea generation sessions with top programmers.

Radio Advertising Bureau’s managing director, Simon Redican also spoke about the future of the commercial radio industry: “Strategically, we need to make sure that our customers get the most from the medium and we can only do that together – the advertiser partnership fund is aimed at making sure we do just that.”

Added Harrison: “Radio has been fantastically resilient during the growth of digital – it is still the second most consumed medium after TV and reaches younger audiences more cost effectively than any other medium. Now our industry is moving forward to make it more valuable to advertisers and collectively we wanted to spell out to our major customers what radio is able to offer their brands.”

Added Redican: “We’re currently seeing transformatory investment in brands and content together with collective will from the groups to collaborate more which will without doubt benefit advertisers.”

Also at the event, Absolute Radio chief executive Donnach O’Driscoll confirmed Monday 29th September as the re-launch date for Virgin Radio, and Ashley Tabor, chief executive of Global Radio [link=http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article4783397.ece]said[/link] he was determined to return struggling Capital 95.8 to its glory days of the 1990s.

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