GMG moots in-house sales team after Century and Saga purchase

John Myers

Guardian Media Group Radio is understood to be considering launching an in-house sales team as part of a wider review of its sales operation.

The radio company is thought to have employed a consultant to conduct a review of its existing sales arrangements following its recent acquisitions of two Century Radio stations and the Saga Radio network.

The majority of the group’s national sales are handled by Chrysalis Radio Sales, which has held the GMG business since 2002 and recently signed a new three-year contract with the radio group. But sales for Century are handled by GCap under a five-year deal and it has inherited an in-house brand sales team from Saga.

It is understood that GMG is looking at future options following last month’s announcement that Chrysalis is undertaking a strategic review of its radio operations, which could lead to a sale or break-up of the division.

Radio industry insiders say GMG is “all over the place with sales now” and that the changes after its recent acquisitions have given it the opportunity to look at its whole portfolio.

In 2005, Chrysalis made a £115m bid for the GMG portfolio, which includes the Smooth and Real Radio brands, but it was turned down. GMG has denied that it is considering making a bid for Chrysalis, which includes the Heart and Galaxy networks, but insiders believe it must be considering making a bid. It is thought that GMG would have an opt-out clause from its sales contract if the group is sold.

GMG chief executive John Myers denies he is considering launching an in-house sales team or reviewing options for the sales operation in the future.

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