Media Relations: What the papers say - Mixed response to radio merger

This week Capital Radio, one of the UK's first commercial radio franchises joined West Country rival GWR to form Britain's largest radio group - GCap Media.

Marketing media commentator Ray Snoddy called the name 'perfect for any future diversification from commercial radio into contraceptives'. (5 May).

The group's shares shrank on the first day of trading due to a lack of consumer confidence and falling advertising revenue.

Despite being overtaken by Heart FM as London's most popular station, there was a ray of sunshine in the fact that Capital FM's breakfast show, hosted by Johnny Vaughan, was luring listeners.

Adrian Young, head of the media team at Barclays, saw the week's events as merely a staging post: 'I don't think this is likely to be a decisive moment in the battle for the London radio market when one competitor breaks away from the pack' (Financial Times, 6 May).

With a potential 17 million listeners, GCap is likely to make the airwaves sing.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk.

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