Advanced Television

GCap axes digital radio stations

February 12, 2008

GCap Media, the UK’s largest commercial radio broadcaster, has axed two of its DAB stations after labelling digital radio “economically unviable”. The Classic FM owner said that theJazz and Planet Rock will go as it looks to concentrate on its core FM stations in a bid to revive the business.

The company – currently fighting takeover interest – also plans to boost advertising time at its flagship Capital 95.8 station – reversing its previous policy of broadcasting no more than two adverts in a row.

Chief executive Fru Hazlitt unveiled the review weeks after the group rejected a £313 million (E440m) takeover approach from Global Radio, an acquisition vehicle headed by former ITV chief executive Charles Allen.

The decision comes despite a record year for DAB radio sales and listnership. However the sales are a function of lower unit price allied to massive promotion on the BBC and virtually all DAB listening is to BBC stations.

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