Fru Hazlitt succeeds Bernard at GCap

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The Independent Online

Fru Hazlitt has been named as GCap's new chief executive but will wait until next year to unveil her plans to breathe life into the UK's largest commercial radio operator.

Ms Hazlitt was previously chief executive of Virgin Radio and managing director of Yahoo!'s UK and Irish division. She joined GCap in May as head of the company's London stations in order to revive the fortunes of Capital Radio, the company's flagship station that had been losing share to its key rivals.

Ms Hazlitt, 44, was widely expected to be handed the top job at GCap following the resignation of Ralph Bernard in November. She took up the position yesterday with Mr Bernard leaving the company immediately.

Mr Bernard led the merger of GWR and Capital in 2005, and, despite investing in its digital and online radio business, the performance of the core radio business has proved disappointing. Since the merger of GWR and Capital in May last year, the value of the combined company has plummeted. It has struggled to maintain its audience share, most notably at its flagship London station Capital Radio, while advertising growth has stagnated.

Ms Hazlitt said: "We have great people, and both locally and nationally we have historic brand equity and a status that will enable us to win within the multi-platform environment. I look forward to presenting our plans in early 2008."

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