Thursday 23 November 2017

Bay eyes O'Brien stations

Tom Lyons

Bay Broadcasting, the radio station group backed by wealthy businessman Tom Anderson, has told the Sunday Independent it is interested in acquiring radio stations owned by billionaire Denis O'Brien.

Ken Hutton, commercial director with Bay, which has a portfolio of radio interests in Classic Hits 4Fm, Radio Nova and Sunshine 106.8, said: "We are interested in exploring opportunities."

The expression of interest comes as the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) prepares to meet next month to consider whether it should order O'Brien's Communicorp to sell some of its radio assets after O'Brien both increased his stake in Independent News & Media and voted to clear out much of its old board.

BAI "ownership and control" rules mean the authority can force radio companies to sell stations if it believes a licence-holder has too much control of the media.

Hutton said Bay would be interested in looking at Communicorp's entire portfolio, including Newstalk, Today FM, 98FM and a stake in Phantom FM, the Dublin rock station whose presenters include Michelle Doherty.

Sunday Indo Business

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