Radio deal fills gap left by LBC

(First Edition)

LONDON commercial radio listeners are assured of an uninterrupted news and talk service on the former LBCLondon Broadcasting Company wavelengths following yesterday's takeover of the lame-duck station by London News Radio, writes Michael Leapman. (LNR),

LNR, awarded the franchise by the Radio Authority last year, is due to start broadcasting in LBC's place next in October and, since LBC went into receivership last month, it had been feared that there could be a period of radio silence. before the advent of the new station, awarded the LBC franchise by the Radio Authority last year.

LNR had been negotiating a takeover for months but had been unable to agree terms. 'The receivership focused their minds,' said Michael Franklin, the former managing director of LBC. 'It is extremely good news and it will ensure a smooth transfer.'

Mr Franklin He would not give details of the financial arrangements agreed between LNR and the receivers .

The Radio Authority deal has to be approved by the Radio Authority, approve the deal, which but it is unlikely to raise any objection. The news It is especially good news for the staff of LBC, most of whom are likely to keep their jobs. stay working for LNR, and The programme presenters' , whose contracts will also be honoured. The new company will be based base itself in the former LBC headquarters in Hammersmith, west London.

Although the personnel will stay largely the same, The programmes will change, however. The FM wavelength will have devoted to a 'clock radio' format with regular news bulletins. , although the company resists the term 'rolling news'. The AM wavelength will be based on phone-ins. , not unlike LBC's Talkback.

The successor to Bruce Fireman, of the merchant bankers Guinness Mahon, is chief shareholder of LNR but chief shareholder of LNR who resigned as its managing director this month, . His successor is likely to be appointed in the next few weeks.