THE new owner of Darlington’s Star Radio said more than £50,000 has already been invested in the station, and it was already making healthy profits.
Jamie Branson, whose company View TV Group bought the station at the 11th hour as it faced closure, said the station had undergone a rebranding, and its studios were being overhauled as part of the investment.
The plan is to make Star Radio a national station and he was looking at putting the station on DAB radio across the whole of the north.
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He added: “We are two weeks in and we are already making a 35 per cent profit. We have done the best sales month in two to five years.”
A split in Star Radio’s licences was approved by Ofcom last week. The station was sold by UKRD to View, but a condition of the sale was to transfer the Thirsk and Northallerton transmitters back to Minster FM in York, while Star will continue in Darlington and Durham.
Mr Branson said his plan was to introduce cameras into the radio studios and make it a fully interactive operation.
He said staff numbers had been reduced from 22 to 14, by ending some freelance contracts.
And he said: “So far we have put about £50,000 in in the last two weeks in kit.
“We are about to completely wipe out all the studios and put in brand new studios, and the station is going national.”
He said it would be going out on Sky Boxes and online, and would be recruiting for new staff.
“Every single show will be going live,” he said.
Until Wednesday, View TV Group’s website listed its senior management team as Mr Branson, as well as a creative director named Jane Doe and another director, Jane Smith, whose photograph was taken from a website advertising rhinoplasty – or nose job – services.
Mr Branson said the webpage listing and photograph was temporary while the senior management team was in the process of having official photographs taken. Yesterday, details of the company’s had been updated, with photos of Lego men alongside them.
Star Radio had been planning to close within days when it was bought out by View at the beginning of this month.