Fru Hazlitt’s GCap Leaving Date Confirmed

So it been finally confirmed that GCap Chief Executive Fru Hazlitt and Chairman Richard Eyre are to leave the company on the 6th June as the Global Radio takeover officially goes through. What’s quite interesting is that as the existing Global Radio and GCap have to be ‘held separate’ due to an edict from the OFT, it turns out that Global’s Chief Exec Ashley Tabor and Chairman Charles Allen are going to quit running Global Radio and take over the top two roles at GCap. Still with me, readers?

Now, whilst this sounds a little odd, in business terms it very sensible. The ex-Chrysalis stations of the existing Global Radio will carry on with the plans put in place by Ashley, no doubt under the tutelage of Richard Park whilst the top two move to the bigger problem – that of what to do with GCap.

Sorry anoraks, but I imagine on the top of their agenda will be advertisting. Mergers/takeovers can usually be bad news for national sales departments as both companies are likely to have a complete duplication of staff on both sides. This is, unsurprisingly, quite unsettling for sales teams who start to spend a bit more time trying to find a new job than they do selling a new campaign, which can have a catastrophic effect on revenue. Stemming this and keeping advertisers happy will be the important thing to sort out first.

Meanwhile, Fru got to spend six months running the largest radio group, sell, not sell and then sell again some XFM stations, shut (and nearly shut down) theJazz and Planet Rock, buy an internet company, not fix Capital, preside over audience declines, improve the websites, not save the company and then sell off the company.  According to Richard Eyre “The leadership Fru has provided for this company in the most testing of circumstances has been exceptional. She has exceeded the high expectations of the board.”

So has Fru been good or bad for GCap?

Holiday Break

Hello Readers,

I’m off on my holidays, so updates will be somewhat sporadic over the next three weeks as i’ll be sunning myself in Sydney, Brisbane, Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi.

If you live in those places and want to meet up, leave me a message on the mobile +44 (0) 7727 638540 and we can grab a can of Fosters or other local beverage of choice.


DAB Digital Radio Listening Continues to Grow

The latest RAJAR numbers are out and programmers up and down the country are trying to figure out where their good news is. You can always spot a poor set of results when the stations trumpet “an increase in average hours”!

Anyway, the thing i’m keen to see is how digital, and DAB especially, has been doing. My company, Folder Media is launching a load of DAB Digital Radio multiplexes this year (through MuxCo) and the better the figures the more stations will want to make the leap to broadcast on DAB. Which is both good for us and for local listeners too. Indeed with 500,000 more DAB radios sold between January and March this year that’s lots more ears able to tune in.

And according to the latest RAJAR figures, there is a lot more DAB listening. Last quarter saw DAB taking 9.9% of all radio listening, DTV on 3.4% and Internet on 1.9%. Well, the latest figures are in and they are now:

DAB Digital Radio – 10.8%
Digital Television – 3.2%
Internet – 2.1%

This is a good showing for both the internet and DAB, showing how people are engaing with radio on many of the other platforms. The DTV figure is fairly static, it will be interesting to see if, over the next few quarters, it hovers around that point or whether it’s just a blip.

In their press release RAJAR also talks about claimed DAB ownership now standing at 27.3% of UK adults (up from 19.5% a year ago and 22.0% last quarter). That in itself is a really great story. Now whilst I think DAB’s hours increase is partly down to their being more people with radios, I think it’s also is partly due to that 27.3% gradually introducing multiple DAB radios into their homes, diminishing their analogue listening and driving their DAB consumption.

Source: RAJAR/Ipsos MORI/RSMB Q1/08.