Metro Radio owner snaps up Absolute Radio

Absolute Radio has been snapped up by the owner of rival stations Kiss and Magic in a £22m deal.

Absolute Radio has been snapped up by Bauer Media UK
Absolute Radio has been snapped up by Bauer Media UK

Absolute Radio has been snapped up by the owner of rival stations Kiss and Magic in a £22m deal.

The deal, which is subject to approval by the Office of Fair Trading, will see Absolute join the stable of stations controlled by Bauer Media UK.

The German-owned firm also owns regional stations including Metro Radio in Newcastle as well as publishing magazines such as Grazia, Heat and Closer.

It is the latest chapter in the colourful history of Absolute Radio, which started life as upstart Virgin Radio and was once owned by presenter Chris Evans.

The name was changed to Absolute under the current owners, the Times of India group which paid £53.2m for the station in 2008. DJs at the station include comedian Frank Skinner and former footballer Ian Wright.

Absolute has a number of spin-off stations featuring music from different decades. Latest quarterly figures showed Absolute Radio reached 1.7m listeners. The station said the whole network had 3.3m listeners.

A spokesman said there were no plans for job cuts. He described previous reports that Absolute would be rebranded Planet Rock as speculation.

Paul Keenan, chief executive of Bauer Media UK, said: “We are looking forward to working with the award-winning team at Absolute Radio and have great respect for what it has achieved.”

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