The closure of Kerrang! 105.2 is the latest in a raft of changes being made by Bauer Media to its radio division.
The move to end local programmes on Kerrang! 105.2 comes just weeks after a similar move which ended all locally made programmes on TFM Radio before it merged with Metro Radio.
Bauer Media did not need Ofcom permission to do either of these. Permission was granted to the radio industry three years ago with the passing of the Digital Econony Act.
Re-naming the regional Kerrang! 105.2 to Planet Rock means it has national coverage and therefore doesn’t need to provide local programmes.
It’s the same act which allowed Global Radio to merge over 30 heritage radio stations together to create the Heart network, the same act which allowed Galaxy, Red Dragon and Trent FM form part of a Capital FM network. And the same act which removed all local programmes from Gold, Smooth and even Beacon Radio Shropshire.
Whilst Bauer should be applauded for not exploiting the Act to its full potential so far – changes around the radio industry appear to be making the company take another look at how it can benefit from the current legislation and prepare itself for a digital future by doing its own consolidation process.
Merging TFM and Metro could have happened three years ago – but merging Kerrang! 105.2 and Planet Rock has only been made possible since the purchase of the latter.
Bauer Media owns one other regional licence – Wave 105 in Solent. Under current law, Bauer could take one of their other brands – such as Magic – put it on Digital One then close down Wave 105 making it a relay of Magic 105.4.
Current rumours suggest Bauer Media has bought Absolute Radio. If this is the case – there would be nothing stopping Bauer from closing One Golden Square and relaying Planet Rock on 105.8 in London and nationwide on AM.
That would make Planet Rock suddenly a very large player in the UK radio industry.
This is just getting silly now. pic.twitter.com/N6JtOS5F
— Radio Goss (@radiogoss) January 18, 2013
Roy Martin is Managing Editor of RadioToday