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Old 13-02-2013, 20:29
darkknight77
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hmm, maybe. But remember Bauer currently have no presence in the East Midlands. Unless they get permission to run the whole thing from Sheffield or Birmingham, they may not be interested.


My money is on Smooth being sold as a single entity, including the London and Birmingham stations. That would involve selling more than the minimum, but would probably raise more money.

That just leaves Wales and Yorkshire. I'd be surprised if they don't at least get offers on Capital Yorkshire, it's got to be worth a bob or three that one.

That leaves them with a happy CC, and a nice pot of cash for further expansion of Heart- the obvious remaining gaps being Lincs FM and Northern Ireland
Smooth currently carries no local programming so that shouldn't be an issue for them, Bauer could probably just put the Magic network on Smooth FM as it is?

Really cannot see them selling Capital Yorkshire, it's their biggest station outside of London, but I still think they need Heart Yorkshire too, I'm sure they'll be fighting hammer and tong to get to keep both in that area.
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Old 13-02-2013, 20:31
simon243
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I think that in South Wales they will keep Real and sell Capital off to Bauer, or wouldn't that not be allowed because of Kiss 101?
Yes they'd be more likely to sell Capital than Real, but not to Bauer. More likely Town & Country who wouldn't be nearly as big a threat commercially.
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Old 13-02-2013, 20:40
casaboy22
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Agree that Global will absolutely not want to sell the Smooth licenses (or indeed Real Yorkshire) to Bauer. But they might not have much choice. The only other group that might be able to pony up enough cash is Orion (who've got their own problems) or maybe UTV, who don't have anything of that scale in their portfolio. Bauer is possibly the only group that has the cash, the talent and the inclination to buy these licenses.
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Old 13-02-2013, 20:43
douknowotimean?
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Yes they'd be more likely to sell Capital than Real, but not to Bauer. More likely Town & Country who wouldn't be nearly as big a threat commercially.
Could it cause a competition issue as they own Nation Radio too? Also would they have the funds to purchase Red Dragon?

I wouldn't be surprised if Orion were interested in bringing Free Radio into South Wales.
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Old 13-02-2013, 20:50
Passengers
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Why is Yorkshire a problem when there's Bauer in Leeds and Sheffield (Aire and Hallam), UTV in Bradford (The Pulse) and Lincs FM Group stations in Wakefield (Ridings FM), Barnsley (Dearne FM), Doncaster (Trax FM) and Rotherham (Rother FM)? Surely that's enough competition?
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:01
Bingethink
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Why is Yorkshire a problem when there's Bauer in Leeds and Sheffield (Aire and Hallam), UTV in Bradford (The Pulse) and Lincs FM Group stations in Wakefield (Ridings FM), Barnsley (Dearne FM), Doncaster (Trax FM) and Rotherham (Rother FM)? Surely that's enough competition?
Because in the biggest markets - Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford. - there's only one station each in competition with the merged outfit.

If a local advertiser wants to advertise to Leeds, it's no help that there's a station in Rotherham or Doncaster.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:03
kev
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hmm, maybe. But remember Bauer currently have no presence in the East Midlands. Unless they get permission to run the whole thing from Sheffield or Birmingham, they may not be interested.
There's no need to have presence in the East Midlands - as with Smooth they can network all regular programming from London - the only thing aside from that is news which could be contracted out and the sales team.

In the East Midlands the audience of Magic would hardly make any indent on there main brand in the area (i.e. Capital).

Smooth not having any local programming at the moment means it's inevitably going to need to be tacked onto an existing brand should they want to maximise the same value, who else is providing a service that would be networked with the Smooths - no-one; And who else has got a presence in the East Midlands - Orion (although they may well hit the same competition limits) and the tiny Quidem.

Whatever happens the Competition Commission have already ruled out moving Heart to 96-105.4 FM, they are hardly likely to allow now; after they have already re-branded once as Capital!
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:05
omnidirectional
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There's no need to have presence in the East Midlands - as with Smooth they can network all regular programming from London
Only if Magic goes national on DAB as Smooth did. And in any case, Global are very unlikely to sell to Bauer.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:06
Bingethink
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Whatever happens the Competition Commission have already ruled out moving Heart to 96-105.4 FM,
No - if you're referring to the GCap/Global merger, it was Global themselves that said they weren't going to do that as it would cause confusion in the marketplace.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:10
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Buying Capital South Wales could be a good opportunity for UTV to either rebrand Capital to 'The Wave' and merge with the existing Swansea station or to buy the rights to brings back Red Dragon and rebrand The Wave, whichever they decide is the stronger brand, but a good opportunity there for UTV to expand and have one station across South West Wales.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:13
darkknight77
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And in any case, Global are very unlikely to sell to Bauer.
They may not have much choice if they're the highest/only bidder.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:17
SouthCity
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They may not have much choice if they're the highest/only bidder.
They won't be the only bidder. The Smooth stations are very attractive assets, all except London are profitable. There will be Celador, UTV and possible new entrants to the radio market.

I think Bauer's bid would need to be considerably more than other bidders for Global to sell to them.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:17
Martin Phillp
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My speculative guesses.

East Midlands
Smooth -> UTV acquire the licence.

Greater Manchester
Xfm and Capital stay with Global, Real becomes Heart, Smooth NW sold to UTV.
Real Radio XS sold to a consortium with Glasgow/Paisley.

North-East
Smooth NE, sold to UTV.
Capital - Stays with Global

Central Scotland

Smooth -> Sold to UTV
Real Radio XS -> Sold to a consortium along with Manchester.
Global keep Real, re-branded as Heart Scotland. Capital FM could be divested to UTV who bring back Beat 106.

West Midlands / London
Both relaunch as Gold, with tweaks to 102.2 to meet the soul requirement.

Global may offer UTV the 1548 licence to maintain Smooth in the London area for advertisers and die-hard listeners.

Wales

UTV get Capital FM South Wales, T&C Heart North West and Wales with a hub in Wrexham, Heart replaces Real on the regional licences.

Yorkshire.

Real sold to Yorkshire Radio. (Leeds United FC) This will solve YR's transmission issues after the MXR mux closes in 2015. This is preferable to giving Bauer a regional licence alongside their local licences.

This introduces Heart in all areas except Yorkshire and keeps Smooth in areas where the format works with the exception of the West Midlands where Gold is brought back into the market.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:19
sparkie70
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I would love Bauer to buy Smooth & put Magic ( north ) on FM with AM turned into a speech station but cannot see that happening.

One radio group not mentioned is Celedar who might be intrested in one regional service. Cannot see Global selling Capital.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:35
BMR
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They won't be the only bidder. The Smooth stations are very attractive assets, all except London are profitable. .
How do we know the London station isn't profitable? It has a higher audience than any of the others apart from the North West station!


By the way, are the North West issues only in Greater Manchester? If not, selling Real XS and/or XFM won't satisfy the CC
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:44
SouthCity
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How do we know the London station isn't profitable? It has a higher audience than any of the others apart from the North West station!
The accounts are published at Companies House. Each Smooth station is a separate limited company.

According to the accounts Smooth Radio London Limited made a loss before tax of 1 million for the year ended 31 March 2012. Accumulated losses were almost 12 million at that date.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:53
BMR
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The accounts are published at Companies House. Each Smooth station is a separate limited company.

According to the accounts Smooth Radio London Limited made a loss before tax of 1 million for the year ended 31 March 2012. Accumulated losses were almost 12 million at that date.
Fair enough- not going to argue with that.

Amazing, though, that a station with 500k listeners in the wealthiest part of the UK makes a considerable loss, while one with 400k in the North East (an area traditionally thought of as much less well off) makes a profit! Yes I know things have changed in the North East since the dark days of the 80s, but even so.....
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:54
hanssolo
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The accounts are published at Companies House. Each Smooth station is a separate limited company.

According to the accounts Smooth Radio London Limited made a loss before tax of 1 million for the year ended 31 March 2012. Accumulated losses were almost 12 million at that date.
But is not some of this writeoffs where GMG paid 42m for Jazz 102.2 to stop anyone else buying it after ownership laws changed, which was way over the station's value, Global brought it at a good price so without any more writedowns, mostly networked and studios moved into Leicester sq, Smooth London should make an operating profit?
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Old 13-02-2013, 22:03
Martin Phillp
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Fair enough- not going to argue with that.

Amazing, though, that a station with 500k listeners in the wealthiest part of the UK makes a considerable loss, while one with 400k in the North East (an area traditionally thought of as much less well off) makes a profit! Yes I know things have changed in the North East since the dark days of the 80s, but even so.....
One has a less competitive market, the other is in one of the world's most competitive. Look at BBC London for where it has the most ears listening in BBC LR, but the lowest share overall thanks to the huge population and choice.
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Old 13-02-2013, 22:28
DJDave
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I think they will Keep 100.4 and 105.4 in the north west, sell XS and Marcher sound group.
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Old 13-02-2013, 23:32
Boolian
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Could Global get around all this by franchising like they did with Heart 106 in East Midlands and Gold in the West Midlands. Of course in the end Orion disposed of the names but surely that is an option
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Old 13-02-2013, 23:40
PDMB
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Interesting some of the areas are hard to predict...

but I'll go for the following:

Wales

Cardiff- Capital South Wales/ Gold (1359-1305) sold to UTV. Which rebrands the stations as Red Dragon 1 & 2 or if there are trademark issues 'something else 1 & 2' .

North Wales- The Heart stations are sold to Town & Country. Gold (1260) closes.

Greater Manchester

Real XS sold to UTV - rebrand to Juice?

Gold 1458- licence handed back. Gold transfers to 100.4
FM.

Central Belt

Edinburgh might be tricky as there is only Forth 1 & 2 in the city in addition to Heart & Capital.

Glasgow

Real XS- local group? For example Your Radio or the owner of Wave 102.

Smooth- Hard to call would UTV like to return to the Scottish market? If so maybe U105 (Glasgow).

Another option might be STV buying both Glasgow stations if like UTV the team at Pacific Quay fancy a chance to break into Radio this could be their chance. If so the 2 Glasgow stations + NE Smooth could be a great purchase.

North East

Smooth is sold (this is hard to call) to maybe UKRD has they already have a presence in the area (building sharing etc..). The new name could be Sun or Star Extra.

Other options could be a local consortium or perhaps STV (see Central Belt comment).

Yorkshire

I going to stick my neck out and say they get to hold onto to both Capital and Heart (Real) in Yorkshire- maybe in return for sacrificing a couple of smaller stations elsewhere.

East Midlands

Smooth is sold - if Lincs FM have the finances a great opportunity to extend the Compass brand. Alternatively Quidem maybe? Orion is not an option as they holding Gem & Smooth would surely cause the same issues as the current situation. Although Orion might rescue 945/999 from closure and launch Free Radio 80s Midland wide with an East Midlands footie phone-in from Gem's building.

West Midlands

Gold replaces Smooth on 105.7

London

Gold replaces Smooth on 102.2. 1548 sold to Litt who then switches Kismat to 1548 and closes 1035.
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Old 13-02-2013, 23:56
Martin Phillp
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I
Another option might be STV buying both Glasgow stations if like UTV the team at Pacific Quay fancy a chance to break into Radio this could be their chance. If so the 2 Glasgow stations + NE Smooth could be a great purchase.
STV have already dabbled in radio as SMG with Virgin Radio which they sold to TIML at a loss.

I doubt they'll want to return to radio when they have two local tv licences to set-up in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

I like your idea of a G105 for Glasgow though if UTV acquire Smooth.
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Old 14-02-2013, 00:20
PDMB
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STV have already dabbled in radio as SMG with Virgin Radio which they sold to TIML at a loss.

I doubt they'll want to return to radio when they have two local tv licences to set-up in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

I like your idea of a G105 for Glasgow though if UTV acquire Smooth.
It's late but yes of course. I forgot about their foray with Virgin.

However the two Glasgow stations would be considerably smaller operations and could no doubt be relatively easily housed at STV HQ in Glasgow.

But: as you say they might be an unwanted distraction with the new local TV licences to be launched.

I agree G105 would be better name as opposed to U105 (Glasgow) if UTV pick up 105.2.
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Old 14-02-2013, 00:23
RadioKnower
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But: as you say they might be an unwanted distraction with the new local TV licences to be launched.
Or a good opportunity to share resources.
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