Reeve reveals plan to create radio network to take on LNR

Nigel Reeve, the managing director of London News Radio who quit last week, has revealed his intentions to create a rival network of stations and bid for analogue and digital licences.

Nigel Reeve, the managing director of London News Radio who quit

last week, has revealed his intentions to create a rival network of

stations and bid for analogue and digital licences.



Reeve said he has already brought in several press and television

companies as backers for his new venture, which he promised would go

live by 1 January.



'They are all set to go in to the market and buy radio stations as well

as start bidding for licences, of which a proportion will be digital,'

he commented.



Reeve said that he had decided to leave LNR because he had developed the

station as far as he could.



When he joined LNR three years ago, the company was making losses and

the managing director's brief was to bring the radio station into

profit.



Once LNR broke even last year, plans to generate a profit were resolved

by splitting operations between the company's two major shareholders,

GWR and ITN. Reeve closed down the sales department - which had 24 staff

- and moved responsibility for sales to the Opus Group. Programming

moved across to ITN.



'I was happy at LNR. I made this company very profitable. The image of

the company has changed - it is now considered a major force in

commercial radio. So I can say I achieved what I came here to do, but I

realised it was time to move on and make some money myself,' Reeve

said.



'LNR was reluctant to see me go, and I gave them an extra three months.

But there was no point in staying for the sake of it. I now feel that I

have taken this company as far as I can.'



Reeve will reveal the name of his new company and its backers in the

coming weeks.



Reeve has been in the radio business for a number of years. He was the

managing director of Kent's Invicta Radio before leaving to set up his

own radio sales consultancy. He was also a member of the Classic FM

launch team in 1992.



MJ Olaori, who is financial controller of the station, will take up the

newly created position of LNR's head of operations.





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