Eight more radio licences to be targeted by Saga

Saga Radio, the over-50s network, is set to triple in size over the next few years.

The company’s head, Tim Bull, said it planned to bid for at least eight of the 30 to 40 licences that media regulator Ofcom is expected to issue over the next few years.

Bull is pleased with the early success of Saga Radio in Glasgow, which launched last month, and the company is bidding against 11 competitors for the Edinburgh FM franchise, which will be awarded early next year.

Saga’s first two radio stations – Saga 105.7FM in the West Midlands and Saga 106.6FM in the East Midlands – should make profits next year.

This will give a boost to the management team that recently bought the company from owner Roger de Haan in a £1.35bn buyout backed by venture capital firm Charterhouse.

Bull believes new radio stations will form a key part of the company’s marketing strategy.

He said: “We have been able to show investors that in areas where we have radio stations, other parts of the business grow faster.”

If it wins the Edinburgh franchise, Saga will set up a separate team of journalists and presenters, while sharing some sales and administrative jobs, with the Glasgow station.

By Hamish Mackay

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