Mackenzie quits Mirror Group to bid for Talk Radio

LONDON - Kelvin MacKenzie, the former editor of the Sun, resigned unexpectedly last night as deputy chief executive of Mirror Group in order to head up a consortium bidding to take over the UK radio station, Talk Radio.

MacKenzie leaves after almost five years at Mirror Group, which he joined after an abortive spell at Sky Television.

His departure comes as German media group Axel Springer mulls over a possible take-over bid, leaving Mirror Group exposed and without the guidance of the man who was overseeing the rejuvenation of Mirror Group's newspapers titles.

He was made deputy chief executive, to David Montgomery, in January, having previously been responsible for developing Mirror Group's cable television station Live TV, as managing director of Mirror Television.

Luxembourg media group CLT, the majority owner of Talk Radio, put its 50 per cent stake up for sale earlier this year and MacKenzie has been involved in details talks with MVI, which owns 35 per cent of the station.

He is being advised by venture capital group Apax, which helped to put together the bid for Virgin Radio by Chris Evans.

According to MacKenzie: "I have had a terrific time at the Mirror Group and owe David Montgomery a tremendous debt of gratitude, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity which I could not let go by."

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