Global Radio's Ashley Tabor

Global Radio’s Ashley Tabor

The founder of Global Radio, formerly GMG Radio, Ashley Tabor says the Competition Commission’s decision to investigate aspects of their deal was “an error”.

Speaking at the Radio Academy’s Radio Festival he said: “If you look at what the Competition Commission actually said the debate we are now having at this point in time is all about local advertising.

“Radio exists in a wider media market – self-evidently it does – do you think that an advertiser has a a wide array of options or do you honestly believe it just competes with that radio station in the area across the street?

“It is really dated thinking, really dated. That is why we felt really strongly it is not right, it is an error, that is why we challenged it.”

Global bought the company last June but the purchase was put on hold by the investigation by the Competition Commission, which ruled that Global must sell seven stations in order to complete its acquisition including Smooth Radio in a number of regions.

As a result, Smooth’s programming team in Manchester – consisting of presenters, journalists, producers and administrators – will transfer to London, with Global’s programming to be handled centrally at its headquarters in Leicester Square.

The latest stage of Global’s legal challenge was heard in court two weeks ago, a decision is not expected for some time, and in parallel an information memorandum has been sent out to prospective buyers.