The former owner of The Bay and Lakeland Radio, CN Group, has been bought by Newsquest Media Group.
CN Group sold its last two radio stations, The Bay and Lakeland Radio, in November 2017 to Global. At its peak, it owned around a dozen radio stations spread across England and Ireland.
The newspaper company entered the radio market originally by having a shareholding in CFM, then went on to purchase The Bay.
Robin Burgess, chairman of CN Group, said the company’s ability to prosper as a medium sized independent group has become increasingly difficult and it is clear that the challenges will only get harder.
The Board says it has taken the decision to end its independence because it believes that the long-term future of the group, its staff and its pensioners are better protected as part of a larger, scaled operation.
Robin Burgess: “A member of my family has run this company for the past four generations so this sale is the end of an era and is tinged with sadness. However our ability to prosper as a medium sized independent group, in light of digital and social media developments, has become increasingly difficult and it is clear that the challenges will only get harder. Faced with these and other issues, including the pension deficit, we came to the conclusion that a sale of the publishing business is the best way forward for all our stakeholders. We are confident that under new ownership the group’s titles and sites will continue to serve their communities as they have in the past.”
Miller Hogg, CEO, said: “It is vitally important for a local media company like CN to be part of a larger and committed regional media group like Newsquest. We still remain a local company with local brands serving the local community. This deal will provide certainty for our local staff for a sustainable future and with a media group capable of investing for the print and digital world we live in”.
Henry Faure Walker, CEO of Newsquest commented: “We look forward to the opportunity of working with the CN Group, its staff and the community it represents in building on their great local brands and publishing expertise, and helping them forge a strong future. We will endeavour to support them with the scale and resources that Newsquest can provide, whilst enabling them to carry on what they have done so well for many years – namely providing first class content and advertising solutions for the people and businesses of Cumbria and the wider region.”
The Bay is currently being branded as “Heart is Coming” whilst Lakeland Radio is branded as “Smooth is Coming” ahead of their pending switch on March 5th. The Bay launched 25 years ago this week, on March 1st, 1993.
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.