Lincs FM, Celador Radio, UKRD and Wireless local stations are to join the Hits Radio Brand Network, providing Bauer Media with the largest commercial radio network in the UK, but warns of redundancies.
Access to DAB Digital Radio will secure the multi-platform digital future of these stations in a radio market which is seeing a significant shift towards consumption on digital platforms.
It enables the creation of a national network which delivers the optimum mix of local content that listeners highly value alongside content from nationally known presenters, whilst also providing significant scale for advertisers.
Dee Ford CBE, Group Managing Director Radio, Bauer Radio comments, “Audiences love and trust radio. Expanding the Hits Radio Brand Network will ensure listeners to these acquired stations benefit from multi-platform digital distribution meaning they can continue to broadcast in an increasingly competitive, digital and voice-activated world. This ensures the provision of local news and information, traffic and travel as well as access for advertisers to highly valued audiences.”
Hits Radio Brand Network
• Hits Radio – delivering a music proposition which is a soundtrack of the biggest hits and nostalgic throwback tracks and local breakfast shows.
• Greatest Hits Radio – offering classic hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s alongside regional drive time and networked breakfast shows.
• Country Hits Radio – playing the very best country pop music.
Most of the stations which joined Bauer following the acquisitions of Lincs FM, Celador Radio, UKRD and Wireless will rebrand to Greatest Hits Radio from September.
In line with Bauer’s heritage stations, a small number will retain their local branding.
Bauer said in its statement that, “these changes do unfortunately mean that some roles will be put into consultation and freelance contracts reviewed.
“Bauer Media is fully committed to supporting all affected employees throughout this period and will be working closely with them over the months ahead.”
A period of consultation with employees potentially affected will commence today.
Graham Bryce, Group Managing Director – Hits Radio Network Brand, said; “We are committed to ensuring the future of radio in local markets and serving the needs of our listeners and advertisers. However, our top priority right now will be to support those affected through this period.”
In line with today’s news, Bauer Media has entered into a licensing agreement with Nation Broadcasting that will see three of their radio stations; Sam FM South Coast, KCFM and The Breeze – South Coast, also join the Hits Radio Network.
They will continue to broadcast local shows while Bauer will provide additional network programming. In addition, it is envisaged that Bauer will sell national and regional advertising for all stations formally represented by FRS from June 1st.