Talk Radio chiefs plan 50m buyout

Senior managers at Talk Radio are mounting a 40m to 50m bid to buy the national commercial station from its European owners, CLT-Ufa.

The management buyout team will be headed by Talk Radio managing director Paul Robinson. He will be joined by commercial director Stan Park, programme director John Simons, marketing director Jane O’Hara and sales director Tim Bleakley.

CLT has called for bids for its 62 per cent stake in Talk to be lodged this week. There could be as many as half a dozen, including one involving Kelvin MacKenzie, the Mirror Group deputy chief executive who resigned this week. He says he will head the bid by MVI, which owns 35 per cent of the station.

Robinson points to the station’s performance since he joined in August 1996. Talk has nearly trebled its regular listeners, taking its weekly audience to about 2.3 million, with revenues of about 10m a year.

He says the management team is poised to sign a finance deal for the bid with unnamed backers. “We have got people who are close to securing backing,” he says. “We’re bidding on a simple basis – we have built revenues tenfold and will make a modest operating profit in June for the first time,” he adds.

On the rival bid headed by MacKenzie, Robinson comments: “He is a great journalist, but he has never run a radio station and I don’t think he has the skills.”

CLT-Ufa, which is controlled by German media company Bertelsmann, has decided to sell its stake in the station and its other UK radio interests in RTL, Country and Atlantic 252, to concentrate on the German launch of digital TV.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here