Stray FM in new hands as owner is snapped up

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Independent local radio station Stray FM is in new hands following the acquisition of its parent company.

Bauer Media Group UK announced that it would buy UKRD Group, which owns 10 radio stations across Yorkshire, East Anglia and the South and South West, in its fourth acquisition of the year.

From its base in Harrogate, Stray FM broadcasts to listeners across the district, plus Wetherby, Skipton, Ilkley, Otley, Craven and Wharfedale.

William Rogers, chief executive officer of UKRD, said: “UKRD’s radio stations will make a great addition to the Bauer portfolio and the opportunities that may well present themselves to many of our talented and highly professional people will be greatly enhanced by this acquisition.

“The inclusion in the deal of UKRD’s interest in FRS ensures that the agency will continue to serve its clients.”

UKRD was ranked number one in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the three consecutive years in the early 2010s.

Paul Keenan, CEO of Bauer Media UK and European Radio, said: “These stations are an excellent addition to our business and further extend our reach into completely new areas of the UK“.

UKRD stations, which have a weekly reach of 722,000 listeners, build on Bauer’s previous acquisitions earlier this year of Wireless local stations, Celador Radio and Lincs FM Group.

Mr Keenan added: “This further demonstrates our long-term commitment and belief in commercial radio which has never been so exciting – for both listeners and advertisers.
“With record revenues for the third year running, the radio medium has grown by a third in the past five years alone, and with its highest share of listening since 2001, commercial radio is in a stronger position than ever before.”

In addition, Bauer will acquire UKRD’s interests in FRS and three local DAB multiplexes, including North Yorkshire Limited, Surrey and North Sussex Limited and South West Digital Radio Limited.