The battle to takeover Border Television appears to have been won
by Capital Radio (Media Business, last week). Capital eventually entered
the fray after a hostile approach bid for Border - the last independent
ITV company - was made by Scottish Radio Holdings a few weeks
Border’s directors had urged shareholders to reject SRH’s approach, with
chief executive Paul Corely claiming Scottish Radio has no experience of
running a television business. In fairness, nor does Capital, but a
tie-up with the company does offer Border significantly more radio
coverage across the country.
Capital’s average weekly reach is 6.4 million listeners, according to
the December 1999 Rajar figures. Combined with Border’s three Century
stations and the smaller Sun FM, a Capital/Border company will have
weekly audience of 7.8 million.
Scottish Radio, however, would bring just 2.9 million extra listeners a
week to Border’s audience.
Capital’s network of stations already covers London, the South-east,
much of the Midlands and parts of South Wales. Border’s Century
stations, which broadcast across Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham and
Newcastle, fill the gaps nicely. At the same time, the Capital group
gets a foothold in the world of ITV via the Border Television
As Capital’s offer has yet to receive majority shareholder acceptance at
Border, there remains the possibility of a counter-bid, with Chrysalis
Radio reportedly in the frame. Chrysalis’ Galaxy and Heart stations give
the group good coverage across the North and Midlands, with Galaxy 102
and Galaxy 105-106 overlapping Border’s key areas of Manchester and
Chrysalis Radio Sales already handles ad sales for Border’s three
If the Capital deal is concluded, the combined operation would be one of
the largest radio groups in the UK in terms of weekly reach.
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