Smooth Radio sold in [pounds]30m deal [Northern Echo (England)]
(Northern Echo (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) EIGHT regional radio stations - including one in the NorthEast - with more than 2.5 million listeners were sold yesterday as part of changes driven by competition concerns.
Heart and Classic FM owner Global Radio has sold Smooth Radio, in the NorthEast and North-West, Real Radio stations, in North Wales, Yorkshire and Manchester, and Capital, in Scotland and South Wales, in the wake of its takeover of Guardian Media Group's radio assets in 2012.
The buyer, Irish broadcaster Communicorp - which becomes the UK's fourth biggest commercial radio group - plans to reintroduce local programming at the two Smooth outlets.
Yesterday's deal, believed to be worth about [pounds]30m, comes after the Competition Commission identified seven areas where Global's takeover of Real and Smooth could lead to higher advertising prices.
Global said the Capital network will also be enhanced with a new station in North Wales, taking Capital's weekly reach to 7.7 million, while it aims to develop Smooth to become the fourth largest radio brand in the UK, behind Capital, Heart and Classic FM, with 4.3 million listeners a week.
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