Thursday, May 31, 2007

GCap can stations

Yesterday, we had the exciting world of Fru Hazlitt, GCap Radio boss, part one, as she extolled the virtues of advertising online being "less regulated". Except, of course, for it being regulated by the ASA like radio advertising is.

Today, as GCap announces closure plans for three of its stations, she's offering another interesting perspective:

“In 2001, people were saying the internet is dead. In fact, all that it needed was to be revitalised. Radio is going through a similar experience and has the platform of massive audiences on which to achieve it.”

Who said the internet was dead in 2001? Stupid internet companies driven by people with more money than sense might have been crashing (although in the UK, that was really 2000) but nobody suggested seriously that that was the end of the net. But in what way is radio having a dotcom bubble explosion, if that's what she meant - nine out of ten people listening to radio, over a million hours of listening every quarter in the UK.

On the other hand, if what she means is that Capital and its sister stations are being run like ClickMango or Boo.com, then she'd probably be in a better position than us to judge.

GCap is closing down Capital Disney, its bizarre ABC co-operative station which failed to enchant children of all ages on a few digital transmitters; presumably the appearance of Disney Radio as part of Channel 4 Radio's digital proposals hastened the end there; the company is also "ceasing to invest" in Core and Life, although neither station really has the air of having received any sort of investment at all.
Ms Hazlitt said that the group would focus on the music to attract advertisers. She said: “Contemporary hit music has always been the biggest pond to fish in.”

A big pond. But an overfished pond. And one where the fish are developing legs and leaving the pond looking for niches in which they can frolic.


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