Jobs at risk as Bauer rebrands majority of acquired stations

Stephen Chapman's picture

Just 7 of the 56 stations that Bauer acquired from Wireless, UKRD, Lincs FM and Celador will retain their current names.

The remainder will join its Hits Radio Brand Network, which will become the largest commercial radio network in the UK.

The changes mean that an unconfirmed number of roles are being put into consultation and freelance contracts are being reviewed. This is likely due to the networking of certain shows.

It’s believed that journalist and news presenter roles are not at risk.

“We are committed to ensuring the future of radio in local markets and serving the needs of our listeners and advertisers. However, our top priority right now will be to support those affected through this period,” stated Graham Bryce, Group Managing Director – Hits Radio Network Brand.

The stations that aren’t rebranding as Greatest Hits Radio, are Bradford’s Pulse 1 and Signal 1 in Stoke, as well as The Wave 96.4 in Swansea and Bournemouth’s Fire Radio.

They will retain their names and have their own breakfast shows.

Lincs FM, Cornwall’s Pirate FM and Sam FM in Bristol will remain as stand-alone stations.

Bauer has also signed a licensing agreement with Nation Broadcasting, which owns stations including Hull’s KCFM. This will mean, they too will join the network, with KCFM rebranding as Greatest Hits Radio.

“Audiences love and trust radio. Expanding the Hits Radio Brand Network will ensure listeners to these acquired stations benefit from multi-platform digital distribution meaning they can continue to broadcast in an increasingly competitive, digital and voice-activated world,” said Dee Ford CBE, Group Managing Director Radio, Bauer Radio.

“This ensures the provision of local news and information, traffic and travel as well as access for advertisers to highly valued audiences.”

Bauer added that it would also provide “significant scale” for advertisers.

The rebranding is expected to be completed by September and will mean the network will provide 9 different Drive Time shows, these will be split across the North West, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire, Central East, South, South West and Wales. There will also be separate versions for Nation Broadcasting’s stations, Scotland and some Welsh-language opt-outs for Swansea Sound.