The missing sports radio station from Listen2Digital’s D2 bid has been revealed.
If the licence for the 2nd national commercial multiplex goes to Listen2Digital, Kelvin MacKenzie will lead a new station called Sport Radio – a direct competitor to his former station talkSPORT.
Kelvin was Chief Executive of talkSPORT after heading a consortium to buy Talk Radio in 1998. It was rebranded as talkSPORT under his leadership in 2000 and he left when UTV bought it in 2005.
Kelvin told the Guardian he also applied to be part of the rival bid for the multiplex, a consortium of UTV, Bauer Media and Arqiva, but said he had been refused.
MacKenzie said: “We presume UTV refused to allow us into their multiplex where they had equity [30%].
Radio executive Jason Bryant, who launched the original talkSPORT station before it was sold, is part of the new station bid and says “With BBC Radio 5 Live unable to provide a full sports service because of its news commitments and talkSPORT being remarkably similar to the line-up we launched with 15 years ago, we believe there’s now a market for a new generation of listeners, talent and advertisers.”
Listen2Digital Chairman Phil Riley adds: “Providing choice and competition is at the heart of our application for the 2nd national multiplex. Kelvin and Jason have significant experience in this area and will provide a well-funded, vibrant and challenging new radio station”.
UTV and Sound Digital had no comment to make when contacted by RadioToday.