NEWS: LNR dumps MSM in favour of in-house

London News Radio has severed its ties with the Capital-owned radio sales house, MSM, and is pulling sales for both its brands in-house.

London News Radio has severed its ties with the Capital-owned radio

sales house, MSM, and is pulling sales for both its brands in-house.



The move comes just two months after Nigel Reeve, the former sales

director of Classic FM, was appointed managing director of LNR, and has

prompted fresh speculation that the LNR shareholder, GWR, is edging a

step closer towards setting up its own sales house.



Reeve said: ‘I spoke to about 20 different media directors, all of whom

said the stations should be sold in-house. You have to have a team that

understands and works with your product and has contact with

programmers. I want a team that will know, live and breathe the

product.’



Sources suggest the LNR decision means that MSM will lose approximately

pounds 100,000 worth of profit a year generated through its handling of

sales for the relaunched LBC and the FM station, London News 97.3.



MSM has branded LNR’s decision as ‘hugely disappointing’. The managing

director, Paul Davies, commented: ‘We feel pretty poorly treated. We

built a team structure which meant we would be able to put some

commitment behind the stations and produce results in the long term.



‘LNR is breaking an agreement with us and we are discussing what our

reaction will be.’



He also disputed the figure of pounds 100,000, saying: ‘We weren’t

making money on LNR’s business. We always knew it was a product that

would take some time to turn around.’



Reeve denied GWR was poised to set up its own sales house, saying there

was ‘no connection’ between the LNR decision and the wider GWR picture.

However, one radio buyer said: ‘I have to believe that it will

definitely happen.’



LNR sales will officially move in-house on 1 January next year. Sources

also suggest that a relaunch of the FM brand will be completed by that

date as well.



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