The Radio Authority has given the go-ahead for the pounds 65
million Capital/Virgin FM merger on three conditions: Virgin’s news
service must be separate from Capital’s; Virgin’s alternative rock
output is limited to one-fifth of the schedule and its relaunch is
delayed until the end of the year. The last two conditions are in
deference to the September launch of Xfm. The Office of Fair Trading has
still to approve the merger.
The Independent Television Commission has awarded the last DTT Multiplex
Service Licence A to S4C Digital Network, the only applicant. The award
has been made with the proviso that S4C’s shareholding can be no greater
than 50.1 per cent, with the remainder being funded by another
shareholder. United News & Media is expected to announce it will invest
up to pounds 20 million for a 30 per cent stake in the SDN
John Brown Publishing’s subscription magazine, Spice, ’written’ by the
Spice Girls, hit the newsstands for the first time last week with
250,000 copies. Priced pounds 2.95, the title offers behind-the-scenes
news, gossip and chat and is the only official Spice Girls newsstand
Football Monthly, Britain’s oldest football title, which was first
published in 1951, is to be relaunched on 1 August. The title aims to
find its own position in the market by playing on its heritage. The new
owner is Chelsea Communications, the media arm of Chelsea Village, which
also owns Chelsea Football Club.
Zenith Media has appointed Richard Hamilton chief executive of its US
operations. Hamilton was senior vice-president and director of North
American media operations at DMB&B. He will report to John Perriss,
Zenith Worldwide’s chief executive.
Dennis Publishing is mounting a 96-sheet poster campaign for Auto
Express in the run-up to August’s new car registrations. Media is
planned and booked by Booth Lockett Makin.
BBC Worldwide is launching a Teletubbies magazine this week. A one-off
special will be available for the summer, with a monthly run from
October when a range of licensed merchandise will become available. The
Teletubbies series is aimed at two- to five-year-olds.
Teletext has lost out to Sky Five Text, which is jointly owned by BSkyB
and Channel 5, in its bid to provide the additional service using spare
capacity on the Channel 5 signal. The Independent Television Commission
awarded the ten-year licence to the highest bid - pounds 1,500,557. The
Teletext bid was pounds 313,000.
Border Television has formed a new company for its growing radio
interests. Border Radio Holdings, which is wholly owned by Border
Television, will be headed by the chief executive, Peter Brownlow, who
is also the managing director of BTV. John Myers, the managing director
of Century Radio in the North-east, will be the group managing director
for Border Radio. Border recently acquired Sun FM in Sunderland for
pounds 1.7 million and has applications lodged with the Radio Authority
for licences in the Solent and Cheshire.
James Boyle, the controller of Radio 4, has produced a 16-page
’justification document’ slamming some of the station’s programmes,
including Weekending and Kaleidoscope. He argues that, during some
programming segments, up to 70 per cent of the audience switch off or
retune to another station.
The Capital-owned Ocean Radio Group has appointed Jane Finden its new
station director. Finden joined the company, which operates 103.2 Power
FM, Ocean FM and South Coast Radio, as a junior telesales executive in