Global this month acquired both Primesight and Outdoor Plus, and announced the formation of a new division, Global Outdoor. The value of the deal has not been disclosed but last year Primesight saw a turnover of around £61m and Outdoor Plus just over £30m – reports have suggested the deal, therefore, to be worth over £200m. While the newly formed Global Outdoor will remain distinct from Global’s radio business, the structure will enable advertisers to integrate radio and OOH into cross-platform campaigns. The move comes after consolidation seen elsewhere in the industry, as media owners multiply their formats in order to grow revenue streams.
In a move that Sir Richard Branson has described as a “major coup”, long-time BBC Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans departed this month to take up a roll at Virgin Radio. Following Eddie Mair’s transfer from BBC Radio 4 to LBC earlier this year, this migration of talent caps off a year of success for commercial radio. In Q1 of 2018 RAJAR released the highest ever listener numbers and a significant lead for commercial radio. Commercial radio overtook BBC radio by its biggest ever lead of 960,000 listeners. Revenues, meanwhile, were also at their highest ever in Q1 2018 at £179.3m, representing a 13% YoY increase.
Hearst publishing has made the decision to close celebrity weekly Reveal after the news that the magazine’s circulation has fallen dramatically over the last four years. Reveal was launched in 2004, and in 2007 the weekly reached a circulation of 346,257, according to ABC, with the highest selling issue reaching 560,000 in April of that year. Average print circulation halved between 2007 and 2014 to c.160,000, and again in the last four years. The last issue will go on sale on 2nd October this year as Hearst UK president and chief executive James Wildman reported to staff: “Reveal’s sales are no longer sufficient to make it commercially viable. We’ve explored alternative solutions but as Reveal’s celebrity market is particularly challenged on the newsstand, we cannot see a way of continuing to publish the title profitably.”
Comcast has won the bidding war against Fox to purchase Sky – with a final bid of £29.7bn. The auction process, overseen by The Takeover Panel saw the final offered share prices at £17.28 per share from Comcast with Fox at £15.67, upped from previous offers of £14.75 and £14 respectively. The winner of the auction will acquire a business that serves 23 million customers in seven European countries. Set up as a satellite TV broadcaster in 1989, Sky has since diversified into broadband, streaming via the Sky Q service and Now TV box, news and original content. Sky also offers value in the UK advertising sales market, handling both its own inventory and that of channels belonging to Viacom such as Channel 5 and Discovery.