Wireless sell Signal Radio to Bauer Media as part of huge off-load

WIRELESS has sold its local radio stations in England and Wales to Bauer Media.
The news comes at the end of a week when the radio group has already purchased 36 radio stations from Lincs FM Group and Celador Radio.
Wireless stations Radio Wave, Wish FM, Tower FM, Wire FM, Peak FM, Signal 1, Signal 2, Signal 107, The Wave, Swansea Sound, Pulse 1 and Pulse 2 are all part of the deal. Wireless’s 80s digital services are also part of the deal.
The group of radio stations originally came together under The Radio Partnership, which was bought by the original Wireless Group for £95m in 1998 before being sold to UTV.
Paul Keenan, CEO Bauer Media and European Radio commented: “We are delighted with our acquisition of Wireless local licences. This group of established, successful stations complements our existing portfolio and extends our reach and local advertising offer to new areas of the UK“.
He adds: “The Wireless local stations acquisition further underlines our belief in the UK and in radio. Outstanding content and growing audiences have driven three years of consecutive records for UK radio ad revenue. As the medium grows ever-more digital and adapts to new listening devices the opportunity expands to offer new and interesting services for listeners and advertisers. It’s a very exciting time to be in the audio business.“
Scott Taunton, CEO of Wireless, adds: “Wireless local radio teams are talented professionals who serve their audiences with great passion. They are defined by their dedication to local journalism and commitment to serving their local communities. The stations are thriving, as yesterday’s RAJARs underline. We believe these local stations will find a good home with Bauer.”
He continues: “Wireless is a key priority for News UK, and this deal allows us to continue investing in our growing digital and national stations, talkSPORT, talkSPORT2, talkRADIO and Virgin Radio, and our successful Irish businesses.”
The deal is subject to the usual regulatory process and is expected to be complete by the end of February.
Wireless and Bauer already work together on the national DAB multiplex Sound Digital (along with Arqiva), and separately own local muxes in Central Scotland, Aberdeen, Stoke & Stafford, Swansea, Bradford & Huddersfield, and London.
Wireless also owns seven radio stations in Ireland and Northern Ireland – Q102 and FM104 in Dublin, Cork’s 96FM and C103 in Cork, Limerick’s 95FM, LMFM in Drogheda and U105 in Belfast, which are not affected by the deal.