MediaWorks Radio has acquired the Auckland based radio station George FM, and also leased the Auckland frequency 96.8FM which the station broadcasts on.
The agreement is between MediaWorks Radio and the urban Maori authorities; the Manukau Urban Maori Authority (MUMA) and the Waipareira Trust.
Announcing the arrangement, MUMA Chief Executive Officer Willie Jackson said: “There is a strong, ongoing relationship between the urban Maori authorities and MediaWorks. John Tamihere, CEO for Waipareira, and myself have worked for MediaWorks as talkback hosts for three years now they are aware of the many commitments that John and I have outside of RadioLIVE and they have been tremendously supportive of our work. We will all be working together to ensure Maori language and cultural objectives on George FM continue to be met,” Mr Jackson said.
MediaWorks Chief Executive Brent Impey said his organisation is also keen to maintain the cultural and language commitments of the George FM brand.
“George FM is an urban, dance format station with a proud cultural heritage. It complements many of our key radio brands, including Mai FM, The Edge, The Rock and More FM,” said Mr Impey. “We are keen to retain the station’s successful format and fully support commitments the station has to fostering the Maori language and culture,” he said.
The transaction also includes transmission equipment for a number of low powered FM frequencies throughout the country.
George FM Manager Jef Kay has agreed to stay on for a three month transition period, during which time MediaWorks executive Emily Turnbull will assume management responsibilities at the station. Emily Turnbull has recently returned from London where she worked in radio and agencies. Prior to that Emily project managed the nationwide rollout of the More FM brand and the launch of RadioLIVE. There are no other changes to staffing as a result of the change in ownership.
The purchase is for an undisclosed amount, and is effective 28 February 2009.