Around 150 broadcast journalists are facing an uncertain summer after the UK’s biggest commercial radio group GCap Media agreed to a £375m takeover by rival Global Radio.
Fru Hazlitt, the chief executive of GCap, has told staff in a memo that ‘the near future contains some uncertainties”, after the board unanimously agreed to the sale on Monday night.
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And the NUJ has pledged to keep a close eye on what Global does with its newly acquired stations, which are due to change hands in early to mid-June.
In a memo to all GCap staff, seen by Press Gazette, chief executive Fru Hazlitt said: ‘This is not a decision that we have arrived at lightly.
‘I appreciate that the near future contains some uncertainties, but I want you to know that I and the senior management team will continue to work with Global on their plans for integration. I will do everything I can to keep you all informed.”
GCap operates around 50 local FM stations, employing between two and four journalists at each base and an extra 10 reporters at its central London headquarters, home to flagship station Capital 95.8.
NUJ national broadcasting organiser, Paul McLaughin, said the union was concerned by what effect the acquisition would have on journalists’ work. The union fears newsroom mergers might be considered in markets where Global and GCap both run stations.
Once the deal is approved by GCap’s shareholders, it will be referred to the Office of Fair Trading, and potentially the Competition Commission.