In addition to MuxCo Ltd (33%), UKRD will own 33% of the multiplex and The Local Radio Company will own 33%.
UKRD Group Ltd
UKRD owns and operates a number of terrestrial radio stations across the UK. It was formed in 1994 when Pirate FM Ltd merged with UK Radio Holdings Ltd to form UKRD, cementing a relationship between individuals who had been working together directly or indirectly for several years. Following the merger UKRD acquired controlling shareholdings in Star FM and Wey Valley Radio, and a minority share in Kiss 102. In 1995 UKRD was awarded the licences for Surrey. In November 2000, a new management team was put in place, with a strategy of enhancing existing assets’ output and developing regional clusters of stations. As part of the strategy, a number of stations were re-branded as ‘Star’. UKRD has been involved in DAB since 2003, when as a founding shareholder in the Plymouth & Cornwall multiplex it launched Pirate FM on DAB. It is also a shareholder and service provider in MuxCo’s Gloucestershire multiplex. UKRD are keen to ensure that its stations have a future in the digital landscape, but recognise that with additional costs incurred through duplication of transmission, this needs to be done in a cost efficient manner.
The Local Radio Company
The Local Radio Company plc (‘TLRC’) owns and operates 27 local radio licences across the UK, from Falkirk in Scotland to Eastbourne, and from Hastings to Yeovil. Based in High Wycombe, TLRC was formed in 2004 to purchase the entire share capital of Radio Investments Ltd (one of the first investors in commercial radio, investing in London’s Capital Radio back in 1973). TLRC jointly owns and operates the national sales house First Radio Sales in London and Manchester with UTV, creating radio advertising and marketing campaigns on 113 local radio stations across the UK.
The senior management of TLRC were founder shareholders in the regional multiplex company MXR, demonstrating their commitment to ‘going digital’ in a cost effective and profit generating way. It is the intention of this same management to do the same on behalf of its stations in TLRC through MuxCo.
TLRC recognises that the future of broadcasting will be digital and is committed to ensuring the group itself has a digital future. However, TLRC believes that a number of the existing DAB business models that have been adopted do not reflect the concerns and financial status of the smaller radio companies, such as TLRC. In addition, the management have kept a watching brief on the development of new digital technologies. The group’s strategy is to play an active role in the development of digital radio, and to ensure that it goes digital at the optimum time.