Absolute Radio sold to Bauer in £25m deal

ABSOLUTE Radio was yesterday sold to Bauer Media in a deal worth up to £25m, in a major act of consolidation for UK commercial broadcasting.

Bauer, which already owns stations such as Magic and Kiss, said the loss-making business sits well with its existing brands. The company is expected to make savings by combining back-office functions.

Absolute, previously known as Virgin Radio, was bought by Times of India group for £53m in 2008. It invested heavily in the name change and won industry plaudits for opening new digital stations and a pioneering website.

But listener figures fell heavily following the rebrand, which Absolute blamed on outdated survey methods that relied on listeners recalling the name.