The BBC announced yesterday it will close the station, pending a consultation period, despite a public and political outcry.
Absolute Radio’s chief operating officer Clive Dickens branded the BBC “irresponsible” for not looking for alternatives that could save the brand. Absolute is interested in a public private partnership it says would keep the station open.
Dickens told City A.M. he would like to see the station run along the same lines as UKTV, which operates channels such as Dave in conjunction with the BBC. He said there is a massive opportunity to make the station commercially viable through sponsorship or advertising.
He said: “I think that the BBC announcement today that it plans to deprive 750,000 listeners of a very distinctive brand is very irresponsible.”
Analysts said making a valuation of the company is difficult as it is not run commercially but say strong branding and a dedicated audience mean it should be worth at at least £2-3m. The BBC has invested more than £40m in the station since it was formed eight years ago. It now costs in the region of £9m a year to run.