Bauer no longer has to sell Wolverhampton licence

The CMA has published additional findings in its investigation into Bauer owning the Wolverhampton licence for Signal 107.

It now says there is no problem with Bauer keeping the service, having revised its view to provisionally conclude that no SLC has occurred or may be expected to occur in the supply of local radio advertising in the Wolverhampton area.

With the SLC – or substantial lessening of competition – no longer being an issue, it means Bauer can keep 100% of the radio licences it bought 12 months ago.

Originally, a number of areas were being investigated including Bristol and Yorkshire, but these have also been cleared.

However, the investigation into the provision of national sales continues.

The CMA was previously basing its investigation on assuming FRS would have exited the market at some point in the next ten years, but now says it has taken account of new submissions and evidence on the prospects for FRS in the longer term and in relation to the duration of this provisional SLC.

“We no longer believe the evidence is sufficiently plausible to support the conclusion that if radio stations were sold, they would necessarily cease using FRS.

“Accordingly, the Group has now revised its view, and no longer considers it reasonable that FRS may be expected to exit the market within, at most, ten years. In light of this, the Group provisionally concludes that the SLC is not time-limited,” the CMA says.

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  1. John James says

    CMA. FRS. SLC. Howe many more initials can be put into an article without an explanation as to what they mean ?

    1. Stuart says

      I love a TLA!

      I agree, although they did define SLC, but only the second time they used it

  2. Phil Simpson says

    Does this mean all stations come off of “hold separate” or do they have to stay on “hold separate”.

    1. Martin Kong says

      Hold separate until FRS is resolved. In the previous article, Credible Media were prepared to take on FRS.

  3. Radio Producer says

    Another piece of ‘Goal-post Shuffling’ to ensure that everything stays in house and Bauer gets what it wants….

    1. Phil Simpson says

      Think First Radio Sales needs to be sorted first

    2. Martin Kong says

      Appart from selling SAM FM/Breeze South to Nation.

      1. John Ross says

        And KCFM in Hull, also to Nation.

    3. mb23 says

      They may have come to the conclusion that an advertiser in Wolverhampton has many other options in the digital age, rather than relying on radio. As a result Bauer is not in a position to increase prices on its stations.

      Signal 107 wouldn’t have survived as a standalone station, the licence would have been handed back to Ofcom eventually.

    4. Phil Simpson says

      Same thing happened with Global

      1. James Martin says

        Only it didn’t. They were forced to sell several stations to Communicorp.

        This is not the simple back door solution people think it is. In a market where Global and Communicorp both exist, the local sales teams are very much in competition. So in those cases, say, Heart and Capital are actually rivals.

  4. Radio Geordie says


    1. Martin Kong says

      And Bauer stopped it by purchasing it from Wireless.


    There is also WCR FM and Black Country Radio for advertisers to go to if they wish radio wise.

  6. wychbold862 says

    Signal 107 should stay as it is, as a Best Music Mix station, it won’t fit Hits Radio, GHR, Kiss or any of the other brands.

    Good presenters, decent music, an improvement on its predecessor stations.

    Bauer could transfer its Scottish stations from the Hits Radio network and have them take the same playlist as Wish, Wire, Signal, Tower, Wave etc. and become “Clyde 1 – The Best Music Mix” and have “Total Access: Callum Gallacher”, and have Ewen & Cat move to 12-4pm Sunday (pre-recorded?).

    GBX would fit in better there, I can see it going down well with Wish/Tower/Wire/Pulse 1 listeners.

    Signal 107 won’t work as a standalone, but it could form part of a new Bauer network that includes the Scottish stations.

    “The Mix Network”, revived as a Bauer concept?

    At least it’s easier to understand for advertisers than Hits Radio.

    1. Phil Simpson says

      Or you could have “The One Network” also an old Global.Bauer should bring back the old station names.

      1. Martin Kong says

        Except they won’t.

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