Jobs fears at local radio stations as new European owners make changes

PUBLISHED: 15:51 27 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:16 27 May 2020

Town 102's studio when it opened back in 2006  Picture: WENDY TURNER

Town 102's studio when it opened back in 2006 Picture: WENDY TURNER

Jobs may be axed at local radio stations in East Anglia following a takeover.

Radio House in Great Blakenahm on the opening of the new Town FM radio station back in 2006  Picture: WENDY TURNERRadio House in Great Blakenahm on the opening of the new Town FM radio station back in 2006 Picture: WENDY TURNER

Radio stations across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex became part of Bauer Media, a European broadcaster operating across seven countries, after it acquired them in 2019 to create the UK’s largest commercial radio network.

Norfolk’s KLFM, North Norfolk Radio, Radio Norwich and The Beach, Suffolk’s Town 102 and Essex’s Dream 100 are set to rebrand as Greatest Hits Radio following the acquisition.

Meanwhile, Suffolk First is among a number of stations to face the axe.

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The merger with the Bauer’s Hits Radio Brand Network also means some jobs may be at risk, the company said.

Town FM DJ Nick Morrell in 2006  Picture: WENDY TURNERTown FM DJ Nick Morrell in 2006 Picture: WENDY TURNER

“These changes do unfortunately mean that some roles will be put into consultation and freelance contracts reviewed.” said Bauer.

“Bauer Media is fully committed to supporting all affected employees throughout this period and will be working closely with them over the months ahead. A period of consultation with employees potentially affected will commence today (May 27).”

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However, a spokeswoman would not specify how many jobs were affected.

“I’m afraid we cannot give a figure of the numbers of those at risk. We are consulting with those individuals impacted by this change and therefore it would be inappropriate for us to comment on individual circumstances,” she said.

The remaining stations will deliver a mix of local content alongside content from nationally known presenters, Bauer said.

Where possible, stations previously only accessible via FM or AM radio will get a digital platform, it added.

Bauer Radio group boss Dee Ford said: “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.

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

Graham Bryce, group managing director of the Hits Radio Network Brand, said: “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.”

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