Global Media & Entertainment Limited
Global Media & Entertainm
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Global Media & Entertainment Limited


Global Media & Entertainment Limited

Global Media & Entertainment Limited

Advertising and media


Global Media & Entertainment Limited, trading as Global, is a British media company formed in 2007. It is the owner of the largest commercial radio company in Europe having expanded through a number of historical acquisitions, including Chrysalis Radio, GCap Media and GMG Radio. Global owns and operates seven core radio brands, all employing a national network strategy, including Capital, Heart, Classic FM, and LBC.

Global also owns and operates one of the leading out-of-home advertising (OOH) companies in the UK through its Outdoor Division.


Global was founded by Ashley Tabor-King in 2007, with financial backing from his father Michael Tabor, and purchased Chrysalis Radio, where Global took control of the radio brands Heart, Galaxy, LBC and The Arrow. A year later on 31 October 2008 Global Radio officially took control of all GCap Media and its brands. The GCap Media name was dropped at this time. The GCap purchase gave Global the network of FM stations which GCap had operated as The One Network (many of which are now part of the Heart or Capital networks), plus Classic FM, XFM, Choice FM, Gold and Chill.

Following the acquisition of GCap Media, Global was required to sell off a number of stations in the Midlands. The stations were bought by Orion Media, headed by Phil Riley, former Chief Executive of Chrysalis Radio.

Heritage local radio stations in areas not already served by Heart FM were gradually rebranded and incorporated into a larger Heart Network that covers most of southern England and parts of North Wales – the stations which would become Heart in the North were acquired later. The remaining stations briefly formed The Hit Music Network before being merged with the Galaxy network and Capital London into the Capital network.

On 25 June 2012, Global acquired GMG Radio for a sum thought to be between £50 and £70 million; it continued to be run separately while a regulatory review was conducted. In May 2013, the Competition Commission ruled that Global would be required to sell seven stations across the network.

The company initially offered to dispose of three stations, Real XS in Manchester and Scotland, and Gold in the East Midlands, to try to prevent the sale of the seven stations mentioned in the ruling. When this failed Global Radio launched an appeal against the decision.

The appeal was based on three grounds: (a) Real and Smooth as alternatives to the Greater Manchester stations, (b) reliance on "significant adverse effects" in the North-West (c) Global's remedy proposal (see above). The appeal was rejected on all grounds and the company must sell the seven stations it was ordered to in the original judgement, Global said it was disappointed with the decision and was considering it further.

On 6 February 2014, it was announced that a number of stations would be sold to the Irish broadcaster Communicorp, with programming generally to be supplied by Global under contract. The deal involved control of Smooth Radio in the North East, the North West and the West Midlands, of Capital in South Wales and Scotland, of Real Radio in North Wales and Yorkshire, and of Real XS in Manchester. Most stay under their current brands though the Real stations will be renamed Heart and carry the Heart network off-peak programming as provided by Global. Global will retain control of all other stations, relaunching the existing Heart North West and Wales as Capital to allow Real North Wales (under Communicorp) to take on the Heart affiliation. Real XS in Paisley will be retained by Global and join the XFM network; the future branding and direction of Real XS in Manchester, under Communicorp, is unclear at the present time. Most of the Gold stations switched to taking the Smooth London/Network output, with the exception that, in areas where Smooth is available on FM (London, Manchester and the East Midlands), a reduced Gold oldies service will remain, run by Global and taking programmes from London as now.

It was announced in June 2015 that Darren Singer would be appointed as Global's chief financial officer.

In February 2017, Global changed its company name from 'This is Global Limited' to 'Global Media & Entertainment Limited'. It also changed all its social media handles from 'thisisglobal' to 'global' and its web domain to Global also combined the three sub-companies, Global Radio, Global Entertainment and Global Television into just 'Global'.

On 1 March 2018, Global launched a brand new awards show called The Global Awards celebrating the stars of music, news & entertainment across genres in the UK and from around the world. It took place at London's Eventim Apollo.

In September 2018, Global announced the double acquisition of two key outdoor companies, Primesight and Outdoor Plus, creating Global's Outdoor Division. The acquisitions were rumoured to be worth several hundred million pounds.

On 19 September 2018, rival commercial radio group Bauer announced that they were pulling out of the biggest networked commercial radio chart show, The Official Vodafone Big Top 40, produced by Global's Capital. The move led to Global discontinuing the Sunday evening show for all stations outside of their own Heart and Capital networks, on which the show continues to air.

On 26 February 2019, Global Radio announced plans to replace the regional breakfast shows on Capital and Heart with a single national breakfast show for each network, whilst Smooth kept its regional breakfast shows, instead turning its drive time show national. Capital's new breakfast show launched in April with Roman Kemp, Heart breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden launched in June and Smooth Drivetime with Angie Grieves launched in September. 

In September 2019, it was announced that Quidem, the owners of Banbury Sound, Rugby FM and Touch FM had entered into a brand-licensing agreement with Global Radio. This change will see the Quidem stations rebrand under the Global brands. At the beginning of October, Ofcom opened a consultation following Quidem's request for its six stations to make significant changes to their formats.

On 20 December 2021 it was announced that Global has acquired the UK podcast hosting, distribution and monetisation startup, Captivate with founders Mark Asquith and Kieran McKeefery joining the Global team in order to continue to grow Global's presence in the digital audio and podcasting space.


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Alena Potapova

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