Bauer Media Group is to extend its radio reach across the UK regions following the acquisition of UKRD Group, a deal that underlines its local radio ambitions and marks its fourth acquisition this year.
UKRD's 10 stations have a weekly reach of 722,000 listeners across Yorkshire, East Anglia, the South West and South East. They include Wessex FM, Eagle Radio, Minster FM, Pirate FM, Yorkshire Coast Radio and Spirit FM.
Paul Keenan, Bauer Media UK and European Radio's chief executive, said: "These stations are an excellent addition to our business and further extend our reach into completely new areas of the UK.
"With record revenues for the third year running, the radio medium has grown by a third in the past five years alone, and with its highest share of listening since 2001, commercial radio is in a stronger position than ever before."
Last month, Bauer bought a number of local stations from Wireless, marking its third acquisition of the year. The deal followed the announcement of Bauer's purchase of 34 regional stations from Celador Radio and Lincs FM. It also announced the hiring of the BBC's Richard Dawkins to work across its European radio business in the new position of chief operating officer. He will report to Keenan when he joins this spring.
Meanwhile, Bauer Media has announced it is launching two magazines this week. Crime Monthly will give readers an insight into criminal cases and investigations, while Take a Break Makes will focus on crafts and marks the first in a planned run of brand extension specials from Bauer women's weekly Take a Break.