Fairfax Radio value declines

Staff Writer

Fairfax Radio's value is reportedly around half of what John Singleton believed it was worth a year ago when he made an offer of $200m for the network.

A report in The Australian suggests that the network is now worth $100m.

Singleton's valuation of $200m was well south of what Fairfax were prepared to sell for; they were reportedly looking for a sale price of north of $300m at that time.

Fairfax were believed to be looking to offload the radio division for a multiple of 10x EBITDA, with Singletons offer reportedly closer to 7x.

On the rumoured valuation of $100m, it indicates that whomever has made the valuation either believes earnings have plummeted, or has a vested interest in talking down the networks performance.

Notwithstanding the motivations, it is understood that 3AW and 96FM are the Fairfax 'cash cows', with Magic Brisbane, Magic Melbourne and 6PR doing reasonably well. The issue for the group is that 4BC is struggling, and 2UE has been a basket case for years and is continuing to suffer heavy losses with no sign of recovery.

In the most recent survey 2UE set another new record low, and survey 5 has commenced with another rejigged lineup on the perennial underperforming station.

Speaking to Michael Bodey in The Australian, 2UE General Manager Chris Parker (left) said;

“It was not a great (ratings) result, but we’d already made the changes we felt were necessary prior to that result.”

All the feedback around our breakfast program tells us we’re connecting with our audience. What we’re trying to do is arrest the decline and improve what have been poorer than expected ratings results."

"We’ve got a very clear plan and will require some fine tuning, but it doesn’t happen overnight. We are continuing to invest in 2UE. It turns 90 next year and our plan is to get it to 100.”

2UE today launches a new marketing campaign which will include outdoor, bus and television advertising.


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