ITN and GWR move in at London News

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The Independent Online
GWR, the commercial radio company and ITN yesterday emerged as the new controlling shareholders of London News Radio, Reuters' loss- makingcommercial radio business, writes Mathew Horsman.

The long-expected deal sees Reuters retain a 20 per cent stake in LNR. GWR will take 31 per cent, with ITN taking 29 per cent. The remaining 20 per cent wil be held by Daily Mail & General Trust.

The radio stations, formerly LBC, lost pounds 3.5m in the fifteen months to 31 December 1994, according to GWR. Ralph Bernard, GWR chairman , said his company's exposure was limited to pounds 2.2m, including a maximum of pounds 1.7m of promised further working capital.

Mr Bernard said GWR would bring an understanding of commercial radio while ITN offered big broadcasting expertise as a result of its Independent Radio News operation. The London News AM and FM stations will be relaunched and relocated to the ITN building. It is expected that they will remain "news talk" formats.