Media Top Stories

Bauer buys Absolute Radio

By | Published on Tuesday 30 July 2013

Absolute Radio

Bauer Media has bought Absolute Radio, bringing to an end over two years of speculation about the future of the national rock station.

As previously reported, current owner TIML Radio has been toying with the idea of selling the loss-making UK radio business for a while, though initially withdrew from active sale talks until John Pearson, who previously led the station when it was still Virgin Radio, arrived with a new offer late last year.

Pearson’s bid ultimately failed, but seemingly led to new talks between TIML and Bauer, the radio division of which owns the likes of Magic, Kiss and Kerrang! Radio. Though word had it for a time that those talks were faltering too, most likely over price. But yesterday morning Bauer confirmed a deal had now been done.

Bauer boss Paul Keenan told CMU: “We are looking forward to working with the award-winning team at Absolute Radio and have great respect for what they have achieved. We are excited about welcoming this complementary music radio business with renowned digital assets into Bauer. Absolute Radio and its sister brands are loved by millions of UK consumers and by advertisers. This acquisition will be an opportunity to learn and share across both businesses”.

Donnach O’Driscoll, current CEO at Absolute Radio, added: “The Absolute Radio business has never been in better shape as we approach our fifth birthday. Bauer Media UK is a business that really cares about building famous media and entertainment brands and music radio in particular. This brand will continue to thrive as part of the Bauer group”.

What the deal means for the future of Absolute, and its spin-off digital services, remains to be seen. Bauer, of course, also bought digital station Planet Rock earlier this year, subsequently giving the service the Midlands FM frequency previously occupied by the Kerrang! radio station. With Absolute, Planet Rock and Kerrang!, Bauer now owns three rock-themed stations, and it will be interesting to see how they will operate as part of one business.