Fairfax close to Macquarie Radio deal as parties move on from bitter war of words

FairfaxFairfax is close to securing a $200m talkback radio merger with Macquarie Radio Network, 10 months after talks between the parties collapsed in acrimony.

The media company is also reported to be closing in on a deal to take full ownership of Metro Media Publishing. Fairfax acquired  50 per cent of the company in 2012 for $35m, with the remainder of the firm likely to command a $75m price tag.

Fairfax and MRN released a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange late yesterday confirming discussions are “ongoing”. It declined to comment on the Metro speculation.

MRN It is the second time Fairfax and MRN have discussed a potential deal. Talks in February broke down in a hostile war of words following a row over whether MRN’s leading presenters, Ray Hadley and Alan Jones, would be part of the deal.

Following the collapse of talks, MRN’s John Singleton went on air and branded Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood “an idiot” and company chairman Roger Corbett a “precocious, pretentious prick”.

Fairfax responded by calling Singleton “deluded and self-indulgent” and described MRN as a “highly volatile and emotional organisation”.

Singleton has since accepted his attack on Fairfax management was “stupid”.

Steve Jones


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