Bauer Media are to face a phase 2 investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority, following their purchase of Lincs FM Group, Celador Radio, UKRD and Wireless’ local stations.
The decision deadline is 21st January 2020, with all stations remaining in hold separate until at least then.
Seperatly, Bauer have confirmed they are axing all local drivetime shows across the stations in England (except Wave 105, CFM, and Gem). The Scottish stations also now have Ofcom authorisation to do the same, although it has yet to be confirmed if a similar move will follow.
The addition of Absolute Classic Rock to the Ayr local DAB multiplex has been short lived, as it has now been confirmed that Country Hits Radio has taken over the space. This is despite a large amount of empty space available for stations to broadcast in, on the Ayr multiplex.
Meanwhile, KCFM has migrated from the Lincolnshire DAB multiplex to the Humberside DAB multiplex. Whilst this does mean that the stations DAB coverage better matches that of its FM coverage, many listeners have lost access to KCFM. The station has also dropped from stereo to mono, due to the lack of space available on the Humberside DAB multiplex. The Lincolnshire multiplex now only broadcasts BBC Radio Lincolnshire, Compass FM, Lincs FM, and Radio Newark.
As reported earlier, Bauer Media have acquired both the Lincs FM Group and Celador Radio. Here are further details of the stations acquired.
The following stations have been acquired with the Celador Radio portfolio:
- The Breeze (Andover)
- The Breeze (Bristol)
- The Breeze (Basingstoke & North Hampshire)
- The Breeze (Bath)
- The Breeze (Bridgwater & West Somerset)
- The Breeze (Cheltenham & North Gloucestershire)
- The Breeze (East Hampshire & South West Surrey)
- The Breeze (Frome & West Wiltshire)
- The Breeze (Newbury)
- The Breeze (North Dorset)
- The Breeze (North Somerset)
- The Breeze (Reading)
- The Breeze (South Devon)
- The Breeze (Yeovil & South Somerset)
- The Breeze (Winchester, Portsmouth, and Southampton)
- Sam FM (Bristol)
- Sam FM (Swindon)
- Sam FM (South Coast)
- Sam FM (Thames Valley – DAB)
- Dream 100 FM (Colchester)
- Town DAB (Ipswich – DAB)
- The Beach (Norfolk)
- North Norfolk Radio (Norfolk)
- Radio Norwich 99.9 (Norwich)
- Fire Radio (Bournemouth and Poole)
The following stations have been acquired as part of the Lincs FM Group:
- Lincs FM (Lincolnshire & Newark)
- Compass FM (North East Lincolnshire)
- Trax FM (Doncaster & Bassetlaw)
- Dearne FM (Barnsley, Penistone and the Dearne Valley)
- Rutland Radio (Stamford & Rutland)
- Ridings FM (the Wakefield district)
- Rother FM (Rotherham)
- Suffolk First (Suffolk – DAB)
- KCFM (Hull)
Some stations are to be sold on immediately to Nation Broadcasting, to avoid competition issues. These are KCFM in Hull, and The Breeze (Winchester, Portsmouth, and Southampton) and Sam FM South Coast in the Solent region.
It is yet to be announced what changes will take place at any of these stations, although it is likely that Bauer will merge several into their Hits Radio and Greatest Hits Radio brands.
Nation Broadcasting are yet to reveal what changes they will make to their new additions, but haven’t ruled out an expansion of the Nation Radio brand.
Please be aware that a full article on this topic will follow when I have clearer information.
Bauer Media have acquired two radio groups, Celador Radio and Lincs FM. Both groups run a portfolio of smaller local radio stations.
It is believed that some stations will be immediately sold on again to the expanding Nation Broadcasting. The stations which Bauer will keep are likely to start carrying networked programming, and may be rebranded.
This move is the latest in a long line of tit for tat expansion moves by Bauer and rival Global Radio.
Lincs FM have launched a 1940s pop-up station, to coincide with the 1940s Weekend, which is taking place in Lincoln this weekend. The station is launched this morning at 7am, and is available on DAB accross Lincolnshire and Newark until 10pm on Sunday.
Lincs FM 40s imagines what Lincs FM might have sounded like, if it had been available back in the 1940s. A number of regular Lincs FM presenters are making an appearance on Lincs FM 40s, and reporters will be broadcasting from various locations around Lincoln.
For the first time, an incumbent radio operator has lost its broadcasting license upon routine Ofcom re-advertisement.
Ipswich FM will take over the license currently held by Town 102, to broadcast in Ipswich and the surrounding area. The current license expires on the 28th October 2018.
Town 102 has been operating since 2006, and more recently came under the ownership of Celador. The station as struggled with low audience figures. All programming on Town 102 is currently networked across the Anglian Radio portfolio (which includes 4 other stations and is based in Norwich), with some programmes originating from The Breeze network in the South West of England.
Ipswich FM is backed by Muxco Suffolk Radio, who operate the local Suffolk DAB multiplex. Muxco Suffolk Radio is backed by Nation Radio and Lincs FM. Ipswich FM will be on the Suffolk DAB multiplex.