Bauer’s Network Changes

An interesting bunch of changes are about to happen to Bauer’s network of radio stations.

At the national level they have two types of national radio station.

In the Premier league they’re pointing to Absolute Radio, Kiss and Magic. With Absolute Radio and Kiss already broadcast nationally on DAB, they’re going to be adding Magic to Digital One in January 2015.

Absolute 90s will provide the capacity to make this happen, though will still remain on in London and some other areas.

Alongside Kiss, Kisstory will join DAB in London and a selection of local multiplexes and Kiss Fresh will be in London on DAB.

In the second division nationally they’re still supporting Heat Radio, Planet Rock and Kerrang.

At a local level where there’s a Place network station on FM, eg Radio City -that stays the same – simulcast on FM and DAB. However, what was Magic AM becomes Radio City 2 on AM and DAB. And then a third station launches in each market on DAB targeting 15 to24s – Radio City 3.

The stations that get a ‘2’ are: Clyde 2, Key 2, Metro Radio 2, Hallam 2, Radio City 2, Forth 2, Rock 2, Viking 2, TFM 2, Tay 2, Northsound 2, Radio Aire 2, MFR 2 and Westsound 2. The ‘3’s go to all of those stations except Northsound and Westsound.

Updated: The Hits, it seems, will cease in those areas to become the 3 service. It’ll carry on, as is, on DAB in London and Freeview as The Hits – clever network splits ahoy!

These changes happen in January 2015 too.

This is quite an interesting shift. It means nationally they’ve got three strong national brands – Absolute, Magic and Kiss.

Then locally with 1, 2 and 3, it’s an aim to cover off the local market with services targeting 15-24s (Radio City 3), 25-44 (Radio City) and 45-64 (Radio City 2).

There’s then some more niche national development brands in there with Heat, Kerrang and Planet Rock.

For Bauer,  Global is the big competitor and this is a solid strategy to try and dominate locally and nationally. To be a real success locally though, they’ll need to give proper cross-promotion and marketing to 2 and 3.


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?