Monday, July 26, 1999 Published at 22:57 GMT 23:57 UK
Talk Radio swallows local stations
Kelvin MacKenzie: "This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to local music radio"
Talk Radio has bought a series of local stations to become the fifth largest radio group in the UK.
The company, headed by former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, is thought to have paid around £40m for The Radio Partnership, which has a 2.5% share of commercial radio listening.
Under the deal, Talk acquired nine new stations serving 3.3m people in the north of England and south Wales.
Mr MacKenzie said: "We have had an exciting eight months at Talk Radio, breaking new ground with our combination of sports and news broadcasting.
"This acquisition now demonstrates our commitment to local music radio."
The managing director of The Radio Partnership, John Josephs, and his executive team will be retained to help integrate the two businesses.
He said: "We share Talk Radio's vision for the future and believe the combination of Talk Radio and TRP creates an exciting radio business."
TRP operates The Wave, Swansea Sound and Valleys radio in south Wales, as well as The Wave in Blackpool and The Pulse and Classic Gold in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
It also has Stockport-based Signal FM, as well as Signal 1 and Signal 2 in Staffordshire and Cheshire.
TalkCo Holdings is to change its name to The Wireless Group.