Thursday, 30 May 2013

Is Sunrise able to fund a station or not?

On 31 January this year Ofcom gave their reasons for allowing the Litt Corporation to retain the Slough licence for Time 106.6 in the face of competition from community radio service Asian Star Radio. The Litt Corporation owns Sunrise Radio and was responsible for yesterday’s decision to ask listeners to donate cash to keep the station running (see earlier post).

It is ironic therefore that Ofcom cited the Sunrise Radio group’s superior financial resources as one of the key reasons for leaving the Slough licence with that organisation. The statement said, in part:

“This combination of strong competition for listeners and a somewhat heterogeneous licence area have historically made the Slough, Windsor & Maidenhead licence an extremely challenging one to operate. In this context, therefore, the Broadcast Licensing Committee took the view that the assessment of the applications under section 105(a) was of particular significance in this award.

“The Committee considered that the overall business plan proposed by Time 106.6 ('Time') was a realistic and conservative one that was based on existing levels of listening and revenue, but nevertheless anticipated the station becoming self-supporting in the new licence period. This follows a period which has seen the station's annual losses narrow considerably, partly as a result of cost savings achieved by co-locating in Southall with other stations owned by Time's parent company Litt Corporation. The ability of Litt Corporation to provide Time with funding as and when necessary, which it has consistently done in the past, also provided reassurance of the applicant's ability to maintain the service.”


  1. Wouldn't Time 106.6 Slough make a good buy for UTV to turn into 106.6 Tower FM or 106.6 Wire FM, at least with UTV none of the problems at the moment would happen.

  2. It is unlikely that any of the local radio groups - UTV or UKRD for example - would want to buy the Slough station. There is always a problem in running small general-audience stations around the M25 ring where they are so overlapped by the big guns of the capital. Further in commuter-belt territory the listeners are just as interested in London stories as in local matters. And, even if you bought a string of edge-of-city stations, what is the point of combining a "local" station in east London with one in west London and perhaps another in south London? Doesn't that just give you a London-wide service with a hole in the middle. Doughnut FM?