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HT&E to focus on efficiencies within ARN before acquisitions

Here, There and Everywhere is not looking to buy or sell any business in the immediate future with the company instead focusing on simplifying ARN’s structure.

Following the announcement ARN CEO Rob Atkinson would depart, HT&E managing director and CEO, Ciaran Davis, told Mumbrella the imminent future was about focusing on current assets and creating efficiencies.

HT&E boss Ciaran Davis is looking at simplifying the ARN structure, but he isn’t sure about the future of the HT&E brand name

“You can’t rule anything out further down the line,” he said.

“We’ll focus on radio, on ARN, and the simplification of that structure over the coming months.”

ARN is the parent company of radio networks Kiis FM and Pure Gold and The Edge and until recently, was part of broad-spanning parent company, HT&E. HT&E was the owner of Adshel, which was sold to Ooh Media for $570m. Other assets which sit within HT&E include content agency Emotive, and online publisher, Conversant Media.

Davis said Atkinson had done a “great job” at both ARN and Adshel, and he was regretful to lose him, but the sale of Adshel meant there was no need for a multi-divisional structure.

“The HT&E structure was set up over the years to be multi-divisional management,” he said. “It’s not that anymore.”

In his new role, Davis will turn his focus back to radio, a business which he previously spent a number of leading. And despite the major programming changes of the last year, led by national program director, Duncan Campbell, Davis backs the new strategy.

“Radio is proving itself to be a very resilient business, very robust. We have a very strong network built up over the last number of years,” he said.

“We’ll continue to drive ratings growth and position the business as the future of audio entertainment.”

Earlier this year, Davis – who yesterday described HT&E as one of the “most exciting media companies today” with a lot of “cash in the bank”, flagged the launch of Generation E Media, a network which would combine HT&E’s digital assets and radio stations, to serve a younger audience. And while there’s been no official update, he said a combination of assets to serve a younger audience was still something of interest.

But as for the future of the HT&E brand itself, Davis couldn’t confirm whether it would continue to exist, in light of the changes to assets.

“It something that we are looking at,” he said.

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