Campus Media to sell or liquidate SBN unit

The Student Broadcast Network (SBN) has been put up for sale by owner Campus Media. Campus is appointing a receiver to handle a sale of the business or put it into liquidation.

Campus pulled its funding for SBN, a wholly owned subsidiary, after a meeting about the business and its losses on July 23. The decision forced SBN to suspend operations. Other Campus businesses, such as the Get Real Marketing Company and the Campus Marketing Company, are not affected.

SBN, which was set up about seven years ago and has a network of 53 stations, had made accumulated losses of £4.5m by July 31, 2003. According to Campus, over £500,000 of the losses were direct payments made to university radio stations over the past four years. It was hoped that the payments would help the stations to develop.

Last April, Campus appointed EMAP Advertising to handle airtime sales for the network (MW April 3, 2003). The move was intended to generate more interest in the network but Campus says that revenues “failed to live up to expectations” and were not sufficient to cover running costs.

Stations that joined the network were paid to take mandatory programming – up to 23 hours a week – as well as advertising, which extended to two minutes after a news bulletin. The content included specialist programming and hourly news reports.

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