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UTV Radio to close talk107

Edinburgh's all speech station talk107, owned by UTV Radio, is to close on Christmas Eve and hand back its licence back to Ofcom after no buyers were found, and talks of a management buy-out came to nothing.

Staff were informed of the closure earlier today. The station will cease at 10pm on Wednesday 24th December 2008.

It was exactly four years ago, December 16th 2004, when Ofcom awarded their first FM licences – to The Bee in Blackburn and UTV Radio in Edinburgh.

Now the radio industry is experiencing a totally different climate, with other stations also closing and more expected over the next 12 to 24 months. UTV could not find a buyer for the lience even though the original licence was in demand with 12 applicants. Bauer (Emap) was the only other original applicant to propose an all-talk format – which would have been known as Forth 3.

On the closure of the station Scott Taunton, UTV Radio (GB) Chief Executive, said: “It is disappointing that after an exhaustive search we have not been able to find a buyer for talk107. We explored a number of options, including a proposed management buyout, but none proved to be viable. So unfortunately we have been left with no alternative but to close the station.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of talk107 for their dedication and professionalism during these uncertain times. They have continued to produce entertaining, challenging and informative radio and I wish them all success in their future endeavours.”

According to the latest RAJAR, the station has 37,000 listeners out of a population of just over a million people. Audience share has never risen above 1.7 per cent, and total hours peaked at 300,000 in Q2, 2008.

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