GWR joins battle for new London FM licence

GWR's chief executive, Ralph Bernard, said yesterday that the company's struggling London News Radio associate will apply for the new FM licence for London being advertised by the Radio Authority.

LNR, owned 31 per cent by the Bristol-based GWR commercial radio company, will propose a business and sport format for the new service, which is expected to attract scores of applicants by the deadline of 9 July.

The news emerged as GWR announced interim profits of pounds 2.4m, an 18 per cent increase, on turnover up 50 per cent at pounds 21.3m. The pre-tax figure was deflated by expenses of pounds 690,000 arising from its aborted bid for Radio New Zealand.

"We rate this as a good, solid performance," Mr Bernard said. The fast- growing company is one of commercial radio's success stories, having built up a portfolio of 32 licences, representing just over 14 per cent of total radio audience.

The company's future growth prospects may be stymied by the new Broadcasting Bill, which sets a limit of 15 per cent of total market share for any company. As a result, GWR has looked overseas in recent months, buying Prospect Radio in New Zealand, and expanding in eastern Europe.

"We think there are other opportunities in the Asia Pacific as well," Mr Bernard said.

The UK strategy will continue to be based on consolidating its position as one of the six main commercial radio companies. Mr Bernard said he would seek to "rationalise licences" in the coming months, as it did by selling a direct stake in Isle of Wight radio this year.

Despite the limits imposed on radio companies, GWR plans to apply for at least three regional licences this year, including East Midlands. The company has yet to win a single new licence since the Radio Authority began the post-1990 round of awards. It has grown, instead, by acquisition.

GWR, through a joint venture, was also an applicant in the bid for the Yorkshire regional licence, which yesterday went to Kiss 102 FM.

Mr Bernard said GWR and its London News Radio partners, including Daily Mail & General Trust and Reuters, plan to relaunch the company's two services, one each on FM and AM, in the autumn.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'