After Global announced it has bought Juice FM in Liverpool for £10m, we look at what the future could hold for the station.
Staff at the station woke up to the news this morning. The deal is subject to regulatory approval from the Competition and Markets Authority – but we can’t see any obvious reasons why Global cannot own Juice – as Bauer operates three stations in the city already, and Communicorp’s Smooth Radio also covers the area via its regional licence.
Juice FM broadcasts on 107.6 to Liverpool and has an active Ofcom licence till 2021. Its Format is:
A STATION REFLECTING THE YOUTH CULTURE OF LIVERPOOL PLAYING A MIX OF BREAKING NEW MUSIC , CHART AND DANCE, WITH RELEVANT INFORMATION AND A COMMITMENT TO LOCAL ARTISTS
So.. what’s next? The most obvious plan would be to add the station to the 11-strong group of Capital stations, already placed around the UK. But could Global be looking at other options?
We’re hearing rumours Global has a big plan up its sleeve for XFM. Should Global be investing in expanding XFM, currently on FM in London, Manchester and Paisley, it could rebrand Juice as XFM with a slight format tweak. After all, Juice was originally licensed as a rock station.
Capital FM is already heard in Liverpool thanks to transmissions from across the Mersey in the Wirral. On that thinking, maybe Juice could be the second Capital XTRA station, matching London and national DAB.
There’s no chance of the station rebranding to Heart as no less than two Heart stations are already heard in Liverpool – North West and North Wales. Same goes for other Global stations LBC, Smooth and Gold which simply wouldn’t fit the format or location.
And the final option of course is to leave the successful station operating as Juice. But anyone who knows Global will know this is highly unlikely. Good luck to everyone at the station today – weeks and months of uncertainty follow.
All we can do is wait for further announcements. Global is the Apple of the radio world and keeps things extremely secret until announcement time. Once the authorities have had their say, the radio scene in Liverpool will get even more exciting, and Radio City gets some even tougher competition.