Cork 96FM to be Bought by UTV

The County Media Group, which includes 96FM and County Sound in Cork, is to be bought for £28.5m by UTV, the ITV franchise holder in Northern Ireland. The price does not include a debt of £3m, liability to be assumed by the buyer. The deal was finalised this week and is subject to approval by the Independent Radio and Television Commission. UTV plan to revamp the stations and have also gained a foothold into the bidding for a new licence in Cork, as County Media holds a 27% stake in the consortium proposing to broadcast under the name of Sonic FM. County Media managing director Colm O’Conaill, formerly of unlicensed station ERI, and commercial director Ronan McManamy will remain at the company and continue to manage the radio broadcasting side of the business.