Tipp FM's Liam O'Shea
New era for Tipperary radio station as it comes under the Kingdoms banner
The Board of Clare Community Radio Holdings Ltd., operators of Clare FM and owners of a controlling interest in Tipp FM, has approved an offer from Radio Kerry Holdings to acquire the two stations in a deal that will strengthen the future of the individual operations.
The deal, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, will facilitate the consolidation of resources to underpin the future of the stations, which will, as part of the same group, retain their individual integrity as separate broadcasting operations serving their respective counties.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, follows the acquisition by Clare Community Radio Holdings - owners of Clare FM - of a significant majority stake in Tipp FM in 2013 that strengthened the viability of both operations.
Both Clare FM and Radio Kerry groups have a long standing, close working relationship in the independent radio sector, with synergies already established that will ensure the success of this merger. They have successfully combined on industry bodies such as IBI (Independent Broadcasters of Ireland), IRS (Independent Radio Sales) and Learning Waves.
Clare FM, which was established in 1989, and was among the first wave of local stations to receive a broadcast licence from the BAI (formally known as the IRTC). Over subsequent years, Clare FM established itself as a leader in local radio and has been the recipient of major broadcasting awards on national and international stages. Clare FM and Tipp FM together employ 45 full-time and 30 part-time staff.
Commenting on the merger, Mr Liam O’Shea, Managing Director of Clare FM and Tipp FM and a major shareholder in both stations said, “The Board of Clare FM are recommending acceptance of the offer to their shareholders. Both offers are subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. We feel that, in a changing media environment, it will provide the necessary stability to grow our already successful stations into the future as part of a dynamic broadcasting entity. Key benefits of this deal are that it will underline a commitment to local radio, benefit our staff and our listeners”.
Radio Kerry was established in 1990, and also owns Shannonside and Northern Sound, which broadcasts to Longford, Roscommon, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan. Radio Kerry has been named Ireland’s Local Radio Station of the Year on five occasions.
CEO of Radio Kerry, Paul Byrne said, “The decision is being made to be proactively involved in the future development of the radio and media industry in Ireland and to create new opportunities for staff, advertisers and listeners.”
Radio Kerry Chairman, Tim O Keeffe added, “The shareholders and management team at Radio Kerry have common objectives as Clare FM and Tipp FM in protecting and promoting the local radio sector. It is the belief of all involved that this would strengthen and secure the future of all stations.”