It was almost two years ago when Global Radio did a deal with GMG to buys its radio division.
Whilst the industry gasped a collective “Heart is Coming”, not one person could have predicted it would be 23 months before it actually arrived.
And whilst it was no secret that Real Radio was going to be turned into Heart, Global Radio only officially announced plans in February this year after selling eight stations to Communicorp following 20 months of regulatory action.
The whole Hold Separate situation only served to confuse the current ownership issues Global Radio now has with Communicorp. The two companies share everything from vehicle diesel to computer desks. The only thing the two cannot share is local revenue.
But just as soon as Communicorp gets money in for local sales, it hands it over to Global Radio in brand franchising agreements, studio and office space rent, audio production, branding, engineering, vehicles, programmes and more. One wonders who the real winner of this arrangement is, especially after selling the stations for a reported £35m.
Communicorp has been very quiet through all of this – no announcements and refusal to speak with RadioToday about its plans makes us assume Global is continuing to oversee the running of its brands, and expectantly so.
Now, after months of gossip and rumours, we are finally at the end of this chapter in radio history and I’m sure we can all agree it has worked out just as planned – with the small exception of who invoices Bob’s Chippy in Wakefield for that local airtime.
The money will get back to Global one way or another.