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Play Radio sold to Celador

Celador Radio Broadcasting have confirmed they have bought the troubled Play Radio.

The owners of The Coast now have control of the two FM licences for Southampton and Winchester, which have been branded as Play Radio for less than a year.

A spokesperson for Celador told Radio Today: "I can officially confirm that Celador Radio Broadcasting has bought Play radio. Play will continue in its current format for the forseeable future, broadcasting across Southampton and Winchester."

The frequencies have been through a number of name and ownership changes throughout their history. The Southampton licence was launched in 1999 as SouthCity FM, but bought in 2004 by Southampton Football Club and re-branded to link with their nickname as The Saint.

In 2007 the station changed hands again and was bought by Town & Country Broadcasting, where the station was changed to Radio Hampshire and merged with Dream 107.2 Winchester for 20 hours of the day. After less than two years the stations closed down but were rescued by south coast based internet broadcaster Play Radio UK, who went into administration less than three months after their purchase.

In February this year, former Global Radio Chief Operating Officer Don Thompson hinted at expansion as he joined Celador as a non-executive director. At the time, Don said: "The Coast has just published excellent RAJAR figures after fourteen months of trading and this gives us the confidence to look at enhancing the station and taking the successful format to a wider audience.”

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