The acquisitive Luxembourg-based media group, CLT, has snapped up a
major stake in Talk Radio and installed its managing director, Travis
Baxter, in the top job at the radio station.
Baxter takes over from the acting managing director, Peter Clark, who is
the chief executive of Talk’s other major shareholder, Media Ventures
International. The role had effectively been vacant since John Aumonier
was ousted as managing director last July.
The CLT deal, worth an estimated pounds 5 million, ends weeks of
speculation about the station’s ownership and marks the final chapter in
the Talk Radio ownership saga. Only last week, MVI upped its 31 per cent
stake in Talk to 95 per cent by buying out the founder shareholders,
CanWest, Emmis Broadcasting and Hambros Group Investments.
This latest deal sees MVI sell off 49 per cent of the station to CLT,
retaining a 46 per cent stake itself. Talk Radio’s other founding
shareholder, Radio Investments, retains its 5 per cent stake.
The deal now opens the door to the possibility of future cross-promotion
between Talk and its sister CLT station, Atlantic 252.
Baxter denied the two sales forces would merge, saying there would be no
changes in sales at Talk in the short term. But he added: ‘There may be
some synergies, but only after the brand has grown and fully established
Talk Radio’s sales and marketing director, David Lees, said: ‘We will be
examining resources, such as research and technology, as well as ideas,
and looking for economies of scale.’