Transmitter in Central Switzerland
CH Media expands in the radio market
The media company CH Media takes over the three central Swiss radio stations Central, Sunshine and Eviva. The editorial departments will remain independent and the positions will be retained. The previous owner, Alfons Spirig, wants to save his life’s work for the future with the sale.
Central Switzerland’s Radio Central comes under the umbrella of CH Media. (archive image)
The takeover will be retroactive to January 1, 2022, the parties announced on Wednesday. CH Media, which already operates a station in the region with Lucerne’s Radio Pilatus, is thus expanding its private radio portfolio and strengthening its position in Central Switzerland. It was agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
The negotiations lasted several months, said the previous owner Alfons Spirig when asked by the Keystone-SDA news agency. As a small media company, it is difficult nowadays to keep up with developments in the areas of digitization, online and training, he explained the decision to sell, which was not easy for him.
Just last week, the Federal Council decided that from 2025 Central Switzerland would receive a new license-based radio station. Spirig had been fighting for this for years. But it’s too late, he said. It would have been difficult to continue operating the radios alone for so long.
According to Spirig, thanks to the takeover by CH Media, a piece of media diversity can be retained. On the one hand, the media company also takes on the concessions with the performance mandate. On the other hand, the editorial departments remain independent and the team and the Rotkreuz location remain the same. Organizationally, the three channels will be affiliated with CH Media Entertainment in the area of regional electronic media.
The Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) still has to approve the transfer of the licences. In return, following the return of Radio 32’s license in autumn, CH Media must also cede that of Radio Bern1.
The Federal Council’s most recent decision to create a license for an information radio station with a share of the fee for central Switzerland had no impact on the sales negotiations. The point in time was purely coincidental, they found each other everywhere in the negotiations.
In addition to the three channels, CH Media is also taking over their sales and marketing organization, Neue Medien Zentralschweiz Werbe AG. The areas of training and marketing of the stations would benefit within the new group of owners.
Spirig himself will support Radio Central as a “senior consultant for corporate development”. He reports to Florian Wanner, head of regional electronic media at CH Media.