U.K.'s Global To Consolidate 35 Stations Into 15 Larger Heart Stations
June 21, 2010 at 3:43 PM (PT)
GLOBAL RADIO will cut the number of stations in its HEART network of AC stations across the U.K. in half, replacing the present 33 local stations (plus MERCURY FM/CRAWLEY and TEN-17 FM/HARLOW) with 15 larger regional operations that could lead to the cutting of 200 jobs. The move follows OFCOM's deregulation of such consolidation moves by commercial radio operators.
GLOBAL CEO ASHLEY TABOR said, "The OFCOM statement enables commercial radio to organise itself more efficiently and take advantage of new technology to enable our people to work smarter. Although this has meant some brave decisions for our business, these changes considerably strengthen our company by providing listeners with higher quality programming and our customers with a far superior service."
HEART FM/LONDON, HEART WEST MIDLANDS, HEART GLOUCESTERSHIRE, HEART KENT, and HEART WILTSHIRE will remain the same. ORION MEDIA's HEART EAST MIDLANDS in NOTTINGHAM will be unaffected by the changes.
HEART SUSSEX and MERCURY FM will merge into HEART SUSSEX, based in BRIGHTON. HEART stations in COLCHESTER and CHELMSFORD plus TEN-17 FM/HARLOW will become HEART ESSEX, based in CHELMSFORD. HEART READING and HEART OXFORD will merge as HEART THAMES VALLEY, based in READING, while five stations -- PLYMOUTH, EXETER, BARNSTAPLE, SOUTH HAMS, and TORQUAY -- will become EXETER-based HEART DEVON and the BRISTOL and SOMERSET stations will become BRISTOL-based HEART WEST COUNTRY. CAMBRIDGE and PETERBOROUGH HEART outlets will become HEART CAMBRIDGESHIRE (based in PETERBOROUGH). The BOURNEMOUTH and FAREHAM stations will merge as HEART OUTH COAST in FAREHAM, the NORWICH and IPSWICH stations will become HEART EAST ANGLIA in BRISTOL, and the MILTON KEYNES, BEDFORE, NORTHAMPTON, and DUNSTABLE stations will become HEART HOME COUNTIES, based in MILTON KEYNES. The BANGOR, BIRKENHEAD, and WREXHAM stations will merge as HEART NORTH WEST AND WALES.