Real & Smooth’s journey under Global Radio
Almost a year after Global Radio bought the Guardian’s radio assets, Real and Smooth Ltd has seen a number of on-air and off-air changes.
And with an update expected from the Competition Commission today, RadioToday looks at the changes the “Hold Separate” group has gone through since being bought by Global Radio.
Almost all the senior management have left or have already named their exit date. The departures started on the day the takeover was announced with CEO Stuart Taylor first to leave.
Staff levels at all sites have reduced drastically over the last eleven months with dozens of people from programming, news, marketing, HR, Traffic and admin leaving.
Today, we’ll find out if the Competition Commission’s provisional findings are any different to their final decision. We’re expecting to be told the areas which are an issue (if any) based on Substantial Lessening of Competition.
If there are still SLC issues in certain areas, Global Radio will have 12 weeks to work with the Competition Commission to agree which stations should be sold.
For example, if there is still an SLC issue in Yorkshire, Global Radio can take up to 12 weeks to announce how they plan to solve the problem.
25th June 2012: Global Radio buys GMG Radio for £70m
25th June 2012: Several radio groups voice their early concerns over the takeover including Bauer, UTV Media and UKRD.
1st July 2012: Global Radio requests a Fast Track reference from the OFT to the Competition Commission.
16th September 2012: Sir Charles Allen, chairman of Global Radio blasted media regulation saying the compliance rule book on buying radio stations is out of date.
17th September 2012: Jonathan Gillespie leaves the business after three years as Group Commercial Director.
3rd August 2012: Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport instructed Ofcom and the Office of Fair Trading to carry out acquisition tests.
14th August 2012: Bauer Media asks the rest of the radio industry to submit their views on the takeover.
2nd October 2012: Ofcom gives permission for a “potential” Format change to Real Radio Wales (and later, Real Radio Scotland) if ownership changes are allowed.
11th October 2012: The Secretary of Culture Maria Miller has announced Global Radio’s takeover of GMG Radio will not be investigated on grounds of plurality.
11th October 2012: The Competition Commission says it expects to publish its final report by 27 March 2013.
11th October 2013: The OFT grants fast-track to Global Radio.
31st October 2012: Tony Dowling, managing director of Real Radio Wales is to leave the company.
5th November 2012: Real Radio starts networking all programmes except breakfast and drive.
18th November 2012: More management leave.
7th January 2013: Schedule changes at Smooth Radio means all daytime programmes now originate from London.
17th January 2013: Group Head of News announces he’s quitting to join the BBC.
13th February 2013: Competition Commission releases its provisional findings.
21st February 2013: Competition Commission delays results to May 22nd.
15th March 2013: Global Radio competitors including Orion Media, UKRD and more have their say.
13th April 2013: Group HR Director Jill Johnson and Group Finance Director Stuart Kilby quit for TeamRock
3rd May 2013: Group Programme Director John Simons announced his departure date as the end of June.