UTV Media sells Liverpool station for €13.6m

UTV Media has started offloading its local radio stations in England and Wales with the sale of Juice FM Liverpool.

Global has paid UTV €13.6m for the station, which plays dance and chart music to Liverpool in England.

It’s assumed Global will rebrand the station as Capital FM – which is already heard in Liverpool thanks to transmissions on 97.1FM from Birkenhead (previously Buzz 97.1) just a few miles away across the Mersey, but Liverpool is not part of its official coverage area.

Capital FM Liverpool would be the 12th station in the network, adding to Birmingham, Cymru, London, East Midlands, Manchester, North East, North West and Wales, Scotland, South Coast, South Wales and Yorkshire. It is not connected in any way to Juice 107.2 in Brighton.

Ashley Tabor, founder & executive president of Global, said: “I’m pleased to announce our proposed acquisition of Juice FM, which will complement our portfolio both regionally and nationally. I’m looking forward to welcoming Juice FM to the Global family.”

UTV says the strategic review of its remaining UK independent local radio stations is ongoing and further announcements will be made in due course, UTV says. Stations in Ireland and national UK stations are not involved in the review.

The station launched in Liverpool as alternative rock and dance station Crash FM in 1998. It ran a number of RSLs in the city and was driven by Janice Long, backed by Bob Geldof, Primal Scream, Urban Splash and Kiss 102’s Mike Gray & Boy George. It has had a number of owners including Forever Broadcasting and Absolute Radio (ARUK).

It was sold to UTV Radio in 2005 and moved into new premises in 2012. Juice FM currently employs former Capital FM London programmer James Brownlow as Content Director.

Global sold eight stations to Communicorp last year which now operate under the Communicorp UK banner.

See a RadioToday tour of the station below:

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