The Business On... Ashley Tabor, Founder and Global Group CEO, Global Radio
Wednesday 15 September 2010
Isn't he rather young to be running such a large company?
Indeed. Just 33, Mr Tabor founded Global Radio two years ago, buying GCap Media and Chrysalis Radio for a combined price of £545m. He's probably now the most powerful man in commercial radio.
So how did he manage it?
Well, it helps to have wealthy backers – and they don't come much wealthier than the Global boss's father, Michael Tabor. He built a fortune from bookmaking and property, some of which he invested in his son's business.
Ah, the penny drops.
Well, several billion pennies in this case. But let's be fair to Mr Tabor Jnr – he's served his time in the radio business. After leaving school at age 16, he worked for a number of radio stations all over the country, some more glamorous than others.
So he knows about music, then?
And not just the cheesy stuff for which Global's stations are usually known. In his twenties, Mr Tabor launched a talent management agency – discoveries included the likes of Corinne Bailey Rae.
How's his business sense?
Global Radio has been a success, not least because Mr Tabor has hired very well. His deputies, the former Associated Newspapers man Stephen Miron and ex-Capital Radio boss turned Fame Academy star Richard Park, were astute appointments. The business is performing well and Mr Tabor has just announced plans to roll out the Capital brand across the whole country. On the downside, critics say Mr Tabor overpaid for the two radio businesses by buying just as advertising was going into a spin.
So what's next?
Once the Capital launch is done – it means rebranding 10 regional stations as the "UK's No 1 hit music station" – it's possible Mr Tabor will think about more acquisitions. In the long term he might even float the company. And don't necessarily be taken in by past pledges not to raid the BBC for radio talent. Mr Tabor once shared a flat with Chris Moyles and a reunion is always possible.
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