New­stalk to pro­vide news ser­vice to UTV group of ra­dio sta­tions

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - BUSINESS NEWS - ÁINE McMA­HON

Quasi-na­tional ra­dio sta­tion New­stalk yes­ter­day an­nounced a deal to pro­vide a news ser­vice to the UTV group of ra­dio sta­tions.

It will pro­vide na­tional and in­ter­na­tional news, business and sports ser­vice to 95FM, LMFM, 96FM, C103FM, Q102 and FM104, it said.

New­stalk, which is owned by De­nis O’Brien’s Com­mu­ni­corp, will be­come the largest news sup­plier in Ire­land, with a to­tal au­di­ence of 1.7 mil­lion lis­ten­ers daily.

Mr O’Brien is Ire­land’s largest owner of pri­vate me­dia as­sets, be­ing the big­gest share­holder in the In­de­pend- ent News & Me­dia group, and the owner of Com­mu­ni­corp, which in­cludes New­stalk, 98FM and To­day FM.

Séa­mus Doo­ley, Ir­ish sec­re­tary of the Na­tional Union of Jour­nal­ists, said the union was “gravely con­cerned” at the de­vel­op­ment.

New­stalk pro­vides broad­cast ser­vices to 25 in­de­pen­dent lo­cal and re­gional ra­dio sta­tions. The ad­di­tion of the UTV group will bring the to­tal to 31, which is the en­tire in­de­pen­dent ra­dio net­work.

Mr Doo­ley said the de­vel­op­ment posed prob­lems for me­dia di­ver­si­tyy in Ire­land.

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