MEDIA: Sky News Radio completes contract deals

Sky News Radio has won contracts to provide radio news bulletins

for local and regional UK radio stations owned by Chrysalis Radio and

The Wireless Group.

Sky has also renewed its deal with talkSPORT, to provide bespoke news

bulletins for another two years.

Chrysalis stations such as Heart and Galaxy FM will receive the service

for the first time, according to Sky News radio editor Andy Ivy. 'It is

very much a radio operation - this is not TV's Sky News on the radio,'

he said.

Sky is the second biggest supplier of national and international news to

UK commercial radio stations behind IRN. But Ivy insisted there is room

for both networks in an expanding market.

'It is not necessarily a question of taking market share from IRN. There

are digital stations coming on stream all the time,' he said.

Sky's news service for talkSPORT is branded with the sports station's

name while network bulletins are branded as Sky News bulletins.

'Part of the attraction is that it is "from Sky News Centre". It is a

brand that people associate with,' Ivy said.

He has 14 journalists and a freelance roster. 'They are experienced

radio people rather than staff seconded from TV,' Ivy said. Deputy

editor is James Sillais and Weekend editor is Gareth Thomas.

While Sky's entrance to the commercial radio market mirrors its

emergence a decade ago into commercial TV news, IRN is still the clear

market leader, and reaches around 200 stations.

Sky reaches 30, about 20 of which subscribe to a networked bulletin that

is available 24-hours-a-day.

Sky News Radio also has a deal with Digital News Network, which delivers

24-hour rolling news in the north-west, north-east, Severn Estuary and

West Midlands.

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