UKRD group buy 107 The Bee
The UKRD group is taking over Blackburn radio station 107 The Bee, bringing the total number of stations they own to 16.
The group already owns neighbouring East Lancashire station 2BR, and previously owned a 35 percent share in The Bee through subsidiary firm The Local Radio Company.
The two stations have been co-located since last summer near Accrington – which is in the TSAs of both – and have shared a managing director and news teams for around 18 months.
UKRD Chief Executive William Rogers confirmed the purchase this morning in an announcement to staff at both stations. UKRD will control 100 percent of The Bee's shares.
William told us: "The Bee has faced many challenges in the last five years and this deal allows us to make the kind of changes necessary to deliver profitability and a secure future for the station. Whilst there will be changes made to reflect the new environment and benefits that the ownership of both these stations by one owner can bring, we are committed to delivering independent local radio services and product to each of the local areas served by The Bee and 2BR and that will not change."
He added: "We are passionately committed to the delivery of local radio in its finest traditional sense and we will now take the opportunity that this change of ownership gives us, to maximise that philosophy in Blackburn."
Both stations will be managed by [link=https://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.5091]current joint MD[/link], Simon Brierley, who was responsible for overseeing the co-location of the two in August last year. "Bringing these two stations together was quite a challenge but we delivered it on budget and on time," he said. "What this change will now allow us to do is to develop independent strands of programming focussed upon each of the local patches whilst at the same time maximising the commercial opportunities which common ownership affords."
Roy Martin, founder of The Bee who ran their first RSL in 2001 told RadioToday.co.uk: "The future of the radio station is now secure and in good hands with UKRD. After five years of broadcasting and a ten year history of bringing local radio to the area, this is another landmark which will see local radio continue in East Lancashire for many years to come."