Bunhill: London commercial radio franchises

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The Independent Online
THE BIDS are in for the London commercial radio franchises and two excite my interest. In the right corner is Bloomberg, the financial information group, with its proposal to launch City Talk. In the left, GWR, a Bristol-based radio group, Reuters and Associated Newspapers with London Business Radio.

The similarities are sometimes remarkable. City Talk has a 20-minute programme sequence; LBR has rolling 20-minute cycles of news and market reports. City Talk has a discussion programme called City Forum; LBR has City Quorum.

Interestingly, Peter Lloyd- Thomas, the brains behind the City Talk bid, claims he discussed the concept with a Reuters man in March, only to be told the company had looked at radio before but concluded it was not for them. Undeterred, Lloyd-Thomas went into great detail about how City Talk was a perfect fit for Reuters. Later, he was invited to head office, only for the company to cancel the meeting. 'We have not stolen or copied anyone's idea,' fumed a Reuters spokesman. 'We've been considering the idea of business broadcasting for a very long time, long before March.'