Britain's largest radio company GWR Group issued the latest pessimistic forecast for the ad market as it posted zero revenue growth for its fiscal first half.
In the six months to September, GWR’s turnover remained flat year-on-year, as a 2% fall in the UK was mitigated by growth at the group’s stations in Europe and Australia. Its one bright spot in Britain was Classic FM, where revenues jumped 8%. Looking ahead, GWR warned of further upheaval in the radio ad sector.
The group also announced the sale of London News Radio. The complicated deal involves GWR buying the 50.01% share of LNR it does not already hold from news suppliers ITN and Reuters, then offloading the unit to Chrysalis for £23.5 million ($36.6m; €37.5m).
In a separate set of deals, GWR plans to forge a joint venture with Scottish Radio Holdings. This pact will see GWR take over dance music stations Galaxy 101 (to be purchased from Chrysalis for £12.5m) and Vibe (for which it will pay £5.6m to take full control).
These will then be pooled in a new unit called Vibe Radio Services, in which SRH will take a 51% stake.
SRH is another media firm suffering from the ad slump, posting a 2% fall in radio revenues in its first half.
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff