Communicorp has made its first radio acquisition with the purchase of Connect FM in Kettering and Heart in Hertfordshire from Adventure Radio.
RadioToday understands Communicorp will continue to licence the Heart brand from Global, but will now rebrand Connect FM – currently a hit music station – as Smooth Radio to become part of the East Midlands regional service.
Connect FM operates as a stand-alone full service for Kettering (previously KCBC), Peterborough (previously Lite FM) and Corby (launched as Connect FM in 1998). Presenters include Carlo Fiorentino who has been with the station since in launched in 1990, and Gregg Nunney who joined the team in 1996.
Turning Connect FM into Smooth is expected to bring about a number of staff departures, as the majority of programmes can be shared from London and Nottingham.
Communicorp has recently been running the stations under a management contract from Adventure Radio, and the plan to rebrand as Smooth is subject to Ofcom approval.
Adventure Radio also owns Radio Essex but is not part of the sale.