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OCM takes over group of radio stations

One Caribbean Media Ltd (OCM) has entered into an agreement to acquire the Citadel Group, owners and operators of I 95 fm, Red 96.7 fm and Hitz 107.1 fm, a release from OCM said yesterday.

OCM is the parent company of Caribbean Communications Network (CCN) which owns the Express and TV6.

OCM Group's chief executive officer Dawn Thomas said in a press release yesterday that the change in ownership would see key talent being retained so that listeners to the three stations could look forward to the continuation of their favourite programming.

Additionally, OCM has successfully negotiated the acquisition of Sidewalk Radio Ltd which is the owner of the radio frequency 92.3 fm. This would facilitate the broadcast of the Caribbean Super Station (CSS) in Trinidad and Tobago for the first time, Thomas noted.

The CCS has since April 2011, been broadcast in Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia, Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, British Virgin Islands, St Kitts and Nevis. "The concept of the CSS is to create and build bridges across the Caribbean and promote the rich talent of our artistes," Thomas said.

She added that both transactions are subject to regulatory approval.

OCM is a publicly owned and regionally focused media company quoted on the stock exchanges of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.

Citadel Group, which started operations, was chaired by Louis Lee Sing, who will no longer have any role in the company in the new arrangement.

In a brief interview yesterday, Thomas said she was excited to have the country's top radio station as part of a group that already has a number of firsts under its belt.

She described the acquisition as an excellent "strategic" fit with the company goals and sees it as strengthening OCM's achievements and investment in broadcasting.

Giving some history into the acquisition itself, Thomas said OCM was seeking to strengthen its radio arm in Trinidad and Tobago and thought the country's top performing stations were good additions to its strong television and newspaper presence.

Thomas said the acquisition is still to receive final approvals from the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) but she does not see this process taking longer than three months. There are also formalities to be worked out with the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange.

The OCM CEO also said while arrangements are still being worked out to benefit from all of the synergies arising from the acquisition, she fully expects Citadel's management team to be a part of the process. She promised key talent will be retained so that listeners can look forward to a continuation of their favourite programming.

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