Smith and Davies leave underperforming GCap

Radio giant's chief executive, Ralph Bernard, names new senior commercial team.

GCap Media has revamped its senior commercial team after issuing yet another disappointing trading update.

Linda Smith, the commercial director of GCap, and Paul Davies, the operations director, are leaving the company. Both were directors of Capital Radio before the merger with GWR and were close to David Mansfield, GCap's former chief executive, who left last week.

Ralph Bernard, the former chief executive of GWR, was appointed chief executive of GCap following Mansfield's departure. He has promoted two former GWR men to fill the vacancies left by Smith and Davies.

Steve Orchard, the former group development director of GWR, takes the role of operations director, while Duncan George, the managing director of national sales at GCap and a former managing director of Opus, GWR's sales house, will oversee commercial and sales activities. However, George is expected to revert to his national sales role on the appointment of a commercial director.

GCap announced that group revenues fell 8 per cent year on year in the quarter to 30 September. Revenues for the previous quarter dropped by 11 per cent, averaging out to a fall of 9 per cent for the six months to 30 September.

The radio group, which launched in May, said that "weak consumer confidence and low spends from key advertisers" were responsible for the revenue slide. It said that October trading was looking better but added: "Visibility remains limited and we remain cautious about prospects for the October to December quarter."

GCap's latest revenue figures follow disappointing statements issued by both Chrysalis and GCap earlier this year.

GCap also announced that it had identified £25 million of merger savings following a strategic review. It originally estimated that savings would total £7 million.

Bernard said: "Although current trading conditions remain difficult, we are taking the right steps to counter this and to position the business in the best way for the future."

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