The Wireless Group, funded by Rupert Murdoch and run by his henchman, former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, yesterday posted interim pre-tax losses more than doubled from £10.08 million in 1999 to £25.7m.

MacKenzie, in whom ebullience and expletives vie for primacy, remained bullish about the escalating losses for the half-year to June 30, attributing these to heavy investment in licence fees and a rise in marketing and sports rights payments during the relaunch of Wireless’s Talk Radio as talkSPORT.

Awash with cash from the Murdoch coffers and funds from a successful flotation in May, the group will continue with acquisitions and applications for all new UK radio licences, in pursuit of its strategic aim to exploit digital radio and further liberalisation of the radio sector.

Meantime, MacKenzie reported post-relaunch ad revenues at talkSPORT were up by 21% to £5.1m, while group sales tripled from £4.16m to £14.8m.

News source: The Times (London)