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Global purchases The Bay and Lakeland Radio

Global has bought Lancaster-based The Bay and Kendal-based Lakeland Radio from CN Group.

The two stations are the only ones owned by CN, which once owned a handful of stations in the Midlands along with Citybeat in Belfast.

It’s not known at this stage what plans Global has for the stations, but we’ll update this story when we know more. Global says it plans to extend its brands to the area, already partially served by Heart North West and Smooth North West.

The Bay covers North Lancashire and South Cumbria and reaches 85,000 listeners every week from its broadcast centre in Lancaster. Kendal-based Lakeland Radio transmits across the South Lakes with 16,000 weekly listeners.

Ashley Tabor OBE, founder & executive president of Global, said: “I’m pleased to announce our acquisition of The Bay and Lakeland Radio. This deal will give us coverage in new areas of the UK and means we can take our radio brands to more listeners.”

Robin Burgess OBE, chairman of CN Group, said: “We believe that both The Bay and Lakeland radio stations’ future growth and success is best placed in a focused radio operation. We are delighted Global has seen the success, and future potential, the staff and management team have built thus far. Through Global’s scale and expertise, we believe both stations have a bright future and we wish them the very best for the future.”

The deal is expected to complete at the end of November 2017.

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27 Comments
  1. John Tudor says

    Had lots of great times at The Bay, with lots of great people.

  2. Rob says

    That’s NOT a nice Christmas present for the staff 😕

  3. wycombe86 says

    Global need to keep this standalone, and not brand it as Heart, Capital or Smooth.

    Perhaps keep The Bay name and existing jocks, and give it a sort of late 2000s “Today’s Best Mix” sound?

    The Bay seems to work well standalone, it doesn’t fit into Heart, Capital or Smooth very well, and is a decent station.

    Bauer f–ed things up by only being local 6am-10am, 3-7pm weekdays, 2-6pm Saturday, 12-4pm Sunday.

    The Bay should try and do retro 2000s-sounding radio with modern playlist. That’ll work well.

    What they need…. Grant Thomson on breakfast, Danny Matthews on drive, and for evening show, well, maybe get Marvin Humes to voicetrack evenings?

    1. Martin Kong says

      They’ll probably do the *cough* opposite * cough*.

  4. MARK LEVY says

    Haven’t Global got enough radio stations without gobbling up the entire universe!

    1. Martin Kong says

      Don’t be too surprise if Globals next target is Lincs FM, Signal One, Kingdom FM or Original. The two mentioned stations on this article could also of been purchased by Bauer. However Global got in first and stuck it to Bauer (I could be wrong).

      If you remember John Myers said that eventually U.K market will be operated by 2 to 3 players. One is Global and the other at present is Bauer.

      1. Janine-canadianexpat says

        Three players. I think you’ll have:
        Bauer Media
        Global Radio (unless they dispose of some stations, maybe Heart Anglia goes to Wireless Group, Heart London to UKRD, Heart Scotland sold to UKRD or to Canadian group Bell Media).
        Wireless Group

        although a fourth, Bell Media, has been looking to acquire stations like Heart 106.2, Trax FM, Rother FM, Signal 107, Peak FM, Kingdom FM, Wave 102 from their owners.

        My other Canadian source told me that Vista Broadcasting are investigating a buyout of the Lincs FM Group and possibly considering Imagine FM, Heart 106.2, Gem 106 to add to their portfolio.

        Don’t be surprised if the current state of British radio with speedlinks goes in the next few years and becomes more Canadianized (it’s not all Bieber or Carly Rae Jepsen here!).

        The Bay would have been a good fit for Bell Media or Vista Broadcasting – their sort of station. Less so for Global.

        I know you Brits like local radio, us Canadians do as well.

        The Canadians are coming… and in a few years time, Global could be broken up and owned by some of our media companies!

        Any other Canadian expats here?

        (I’m in London, for the win!)

        1. Martin Kong says

          Global won’t be selling the Heart stations you’ve mention. I would take your source with a pinch of salt.

  5. Joe Smith says

    Two more radio stations for them to ruin then.

    1. Simon Rushton says

      Or rescue. Back in the days of GWR stations that were bought were in a financial mess, and GWR were able to keep them going. Yes there would be some redundancies, but it meant the bulk of staff kept their jobs and the stations kept going. You may not like it but there are economies of scale.

      1. Radio Geordie says

        What a load of rubbish.
        The Bay becomes Heart & Lakeland becomes Smooth. Only the breakfast & drivetime presenters will keep their jobs along with a couple of journalists & sales staff. To the rest, Merry Christmas & here’s your notice.

        1. Janine-canadianexpat says

          Global could keep The Bay as a standalone station, make it mostly pre-recorded or VT’d like BBC Radio 2, and it might be profitable.

          Move Will Cozens to breakfast on The Bay, and give Danny Matthews Capital London breakfast instead of Roman Kemp, how’s that?

      2. Joe Smith says

        Rescue? You’re not being serious are you?

        1. Simon Rushton says

          I’m being serious. I imagine it’s been hard to run these stations as stand alone stations… and I imagine there would be quite a bit of debt. We’re already seeing some smaller concerns wobbling. Sometimes the options are… be absorbed into the collective, or die. I’ve BEEN made redundant by a large group and it was the most horrible, soul destroying period of my life. I wouldn’t want to put anyone through that…. but if it means the station and some of the staff have jobs isn’t that a good (or slightly better) thing than turning up one day to find the station off air and noone there?

  6. Lee says

    Bye bye staff of The Bay and Lakeland Radio. The breakfast team will remain for the timebeing during the transition to Heart. I’m only guessing but Global have form. So sad!!

  7. BRoberts says

    I would hazard a guess that these stations are in financial difficulty, just as the likes of the Marcher Group were when purchased by GWR. It could be that without a backer like Global, they would soon cease to exist.

    I don’t like the homogenisation of local radio either but financially it is very difficult for small independent radio stations to break even in this day and age.

    1. Radio Geordie says

      Not necessarily given that almost every newspaper group has seen circulation numbers drop massively over the last 5 years or so. It’s more likely that the radio businesses were the profitable bit and they had to sell them to get some money to prop up the failing primary business.

      Nearly 20 years ago, the company owned a decent number of radio services which, have been sold off over the years as the newspaper businesses have hemorrhaged money. Yes, it could be argued that the Midlands stations were struggling, but CN also owned Citybeat which was profitable. Yet, they still sold that service off.

  8. Robert Jackson says

    I have a strong prediction that Global won’t change anything on these stations and they’ll continue as they are 😉

    1. Martin Kong says

      Don’t be too sure about it.

      1. wycombe86 says

        UKRD bought Sun FM from TLRC and stripped the ntworking, surely Global could keep The Bay as a Sun-lite station?

        1. Martin Kong says

          What UKRD did in the past doesn’t equal to what Global will do with those 2 stations in the future.

    2. Ray Woodward says

      I love a good joke!

  9. Nigel Peacock says

    There isn’t a huge overlap between The Bay and Lakeland, so my guess is Heart North West.

    Is must be remembered also, that DAB coverage in Cumbria is limited due to the topography. Also, Cumbria is the only place in England were a regional sized DAB was proposed, but has never been advertised.

  10. Dan Dare says

    Radio Geordie and B Roberts ..bang on the nail. Dee FM and Silk will soon be gone …..that is due to “technology”, our World is so far removed from 20 years ago that people could not care less about “local” radio….it is the same scenario as our shopping habits….On a wet Tuesday in Shantytown all the shops will be empty except Primark and Aldi….we want cheap and cheerful in all things today. People don’t care whether it comes from next door or a million miles away…radio is only that important to anoraks.

    1. Joe Smith says

      and those that can make money out of pandering to the lowest common denominator of course.

  11. Andrew says

    It will be interesting to see if the stations completely go. IF they both fall within the agreed regions of existing Hearts or Smooth, they will 100% just relay existing stations output and nobody will survive. Look what they did down south. All those little stations vanished to be replaced by around 15 regional breakfast shows. Global just want the transmitters to expand the existing footprint of existing regions, to fill a couple of gaps! There may be no local presenters on either station by the end of January.

  12. Michellerees1983 says

    Global COULD use The Bay to become its own station, perhaps give it a playlist that’s a mixture of Real XS, Heart and Capital in one station?

    Maybe if it had:

    6am-10am Danny Matthews
    10am-2pm Cooky
    2pm-7pm Will Cozens
    7pm-10pm Dave Campbell
    10pm-1am Darren Milby (voicetracked)

    and for weekends (Saturday)
    6am-10am Will Cozens
    10am-2pm Mark Watson
    2pm-6pm Alex Cribb
    6pm-10pm JK (voicetracked)
    10pm-6am In The Mix Non-Stop
    for Sunday:
    6am-9am Jenni Falconer (voicetracked)
    9am-12pm Gareth Wesley (voicetracked)
    12pm-4pm Victoria Leigh
    4pm-7pm Chart show
    7pm-10pm Mark Watson (like Ring Roberto but local)
    10pm-1am Julia Hartley-Brewer with sex and relationships-type show

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