Orion Media is ending its national sales contract with Global Radio and hiring Bauer Media instead.
The new deal starts in July after Orion’s five year agreement with Global Radio expires.
Orion operates eight radio stations in the Midlands with 1.2 million listeners per week. These stations, including Free Radio and Gem 106, will become part of Bauer’s Place Portfoilo.
Orion CEO Phil Riley said: “I’d like to thank Global for their hard work over the last five years. They are a committed and passionate team who have done a great job for us. However, we believe the time is now right for a fresh approach. Bauer provides a neat fit matching our strategic vision and I’m delighted to be teaming up with them for the next stage of Orion’s development.”
Orion Media purchased the stations from Global Radio in 2009 and agreed to run Heart East Midlands under a franchise agreement but this came to an end 18 months later.
It is documented that Orion made a bid for GMG Radio before Global Radio bought it in 2012, and it is understood Orion also attempted to purchase the eight stations recently sold by Global Radio to Communicorp.
Adrian Serle, Orion Media Group Commercial Director, said the industry had changed in the way it presents itself to national clients and agencies, and Orion’s decision to move to Bauer reflects this.
“Our stations,” he said, “cover the biggest conurbation outside of London, with real geographic and strategic value for advertisers. We believe that by adding our portfolio of highly successful brands to the Bauer Place group of stations, we offer an exciting opportunity, with enhanced scale and coverage to advertisers. The complementary strategic approach of our stations, and our combined appetite to deliver original, creative and engaging solutions, will create a powerful UK radio network.”
Richard Dunmall, Managing Director, Advertising, for Bauer Media, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Orion. They have a great team, great brands and a strong audience position in the West and East Midlands, which will add significantly to our national and regional radio proposition. We see this as the beginning of a fantastic partnership and are excited about getting started”.