Quidem Becomes Franchisee

Quidem has agreed a franchise agreement with Global Radio, which will see the loss of the Touch FM, Rugby FM and Banbury Sound brands across the Midlands. It is yet to be confirmed which of Global’s brands will be used, although it seems likely that the Capital brand will be used on at least some of the stations.

As part of the deal, Quidem are moving from Bauer owned First Radio Sales (sales agency for national advertisers), to Global’s in house sales agency. Global will also be proving all news bulletins going forward, with existing news staff being offered a transfer to Global.

The exact number of redundancies is also yet to be confirmed, although this is expected to include 3 presenters and 5 account managers. Quidem is currently loss making.

The deal will not widen choice for listeners, as ‘regionalised’ versions of Global’s main brands Capital, Heart, and Smooth already exist on DAB digital radio in the area covered by Quidem on FM.

Global Monopoly Expands Again

The dominant monopoly that is Global Radio has expanded its presence on DAB. National duplicates of Capital, Heart and Smooth have been added to the Lincolnshire DAB multiplex and the Hereford and Worcester DAB multiplex.

These services are already available on the D1 national multiplex. Capital UK has a national 80 kbps mono slot, as does Smooth (labelled as Smooth Extra), and Heart has a 32kbps low quality stereo DAB+ slot (labelled as Heart Extra).

The new versions are all in stereo ‘original version’ DAB, with a bit rate of 112kbps, offering slightly better sound quality. These services are exactly the same as the national versions, and do not widen the choice of services available.

Meanwhile, there are rumours circulating on social media that Global are acquiring the Quidem group of radio stations, which broadcast to the Midlands, and include the Touch FM and Banbury Sound brands.