U.K. Talks: Global-Emap, SMG-Virgin
October 29, 2007 at 5:38 AM (PT)
Is GLOBAL RADIO the frontrunner to buy EMAP's radio division? The OBSERVER reports that GLOBAL and EMAP are believed to have had talks about GLOBAL's bid for the stations, with additional talk about spinning off some of the stations to the OBSERVER's parent, GUARDIAN MEDIA GROUP, if regulators require divestiture of some operations.
UNIVERSAL MCCANN radio analyst AMANDA BARRETT told the GUARDIAN that she believes GLOBAL will end up with EMAP's radio stations and will merge the latter's KISS stations with its own GALAXY network for a Top 40-Dance network reaching about six million adults across the U.K.
Meanwhile, SMG is reportedly talking to RICHARD BRANSON's VIRGIN GROUP about merging their radio assets into a new company. The DAILY TELEGRAPH reports that the parties are talking about creating a new company with VIRGIN owning a stake and SMG cutting all ties to spin radio off from SMG's core asset, the ITV franchise in SCOTLAND. BRANSON owns the VIRGIN RADIO brand and SMG presently licenses the name from BRANSON for its VIRGIN RADIO in the U.K.