Denis O’Brien getting out of radio in Ireland is a massive one. Bauer is acquiring in Ireland’s only two national commercial stations (one largely pop music driven with some talk programmes that are largely a hangover of its original PSB-type schedule, the other a talk driven station), two regional “youth” stations that have some shared programmes, and a pop music station in Dublin. One big change I can see is that they may try to get rid of the remaining news/talk shows on Today FM on the grounds that Newstalk addresses that market but the regulator may resist that heavily. I don’t see any of the U.K. brands entering the market here yet.
Just to note, the Irish radio market is quite different to the UK in that we have virtually no networking on ILR outside of news. There are very strong local identities on ILR and they have very strong political support (I referred to recently how DAB is virtually non existent here and ILR’s refusal to embrace the technology is the main reason why). That said, Bauer are not acquiring any of those stations and 98FM suffers from being virtually indistinguishable from long time competitor FM104 (owned by Wireless Group).
Always sad that these things are being turned off even though it makes sense as the world's moved on from AM radio. A lot like the decimation of short wave the last 20-odd years, incredibly sad though again makes sense because there's so many other ways to get access to the content than expensive powerful transmitters.
As soon as read it, I thought that Today FM is the more likely candidate to (eventually) be turned into GHR Ireland. The other local city/town based stations dotted around the country with the frequency as the station name are a bit to disperate to be turned into a semi-network.
I hope not though, I enjoy listening to Dublin Talks on 98FM. That would almost certainally go if those stations became a network. Although Adrian Kennedy could be found a birth within the new group over on Newstalk Ireland.
If Bauer Radio sales still handle the advertising from those stations - which you'd think would happen - then there should be no change, should there? That would still be competition in the radio sales market, which is why we ended up with licenced branded stations in the first place.
The scuppering aspect is if Global dont want Bauer operating under format licence to those stations formerly of Communicorp. Athough, as it's free money for Global, and extends their brands without really too much effort, again, I can't see that being a real issue.