John Singleton fielding offers for Macquarie Media ‘every six weeks’

The man who owns 32% of Macquarie Media, John Singleton,  has said he gets approached to sell his stake in the business every six weeks, following the success of the joint venture with Fairfax.

Singleton told The Australian he didn’t have immediate plans to sell, but he would obviously reconsider for the right price.

Singleton: Most things are for sale

“I get approaches every six weeks from various entities,” The Australian reports him as saying. “The joint venture with Fairfax has worked beyond expectations.”

He added: “But obviously there’s a price. Most things are for sale.”

Macquarie Media has a number of radio assets including talkback station 2GB in Sydney, the home of Alan Jones and Ray Hadley. In Melbourne, it has 3AW with presenters including Neil Mitchell.

The network also owns 4BC in Brisbane and 6PR in Perth.

The network also recently launched Macquarie Sports Radio across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, replacing its 2UE and Talking Lifestyle Brands.

While 2GB is the market leader in Sydney, with a 14.0% audience share and 16.6% for the breakfast slot and 18.0% across the mornings – its new Macquarie Sports Radio offering is struggling.

In the most recent radio ratings survey by GfK, Macquarie Sports Radio had just 0.8% of the total market in Sydney, and 0.6% in the breakfast slot.

In Melbourne, where 3AW has a 13.8% share, Macquarie Sports Radio has just 0.3%. Its breakfast slot is in even more trouble, with just 0.1% market share, compared to 3AW’s 19.2%.

The Macquarie Sports Radio venture has also had line-up struggles.

The network revealed its on-air talent in April, with Garry Linnell axed from Sydney breakfast and his former co-host John Stanley surviving the changes to co-present with former rugby league footballer and Footy Show panellist Beau Ryan.

In the past few weeks, however, Ryan’s departure was announced, followed shortly with news of Stanley’s exit.

Last year, there was speculation Singleton, along with fellow shareholder Mark Carnegie, was looking to take over Fairfax’s stake in the business.

Fairfax then denied it was looking to sell off the network.

As it stands, Fairfax owns 54.5% of the network, while Singleton has a 32% stake.

With Nine’s proposed takeover of Fairfax Media – which would include assets such as Macquarie Media – however, ownership speculation has mounted once more.

Singleton said there was “goodwill” around the proposed Nine takeover of Fairfax Media, but conceded there were still some unknowns around the deal, according to The Australian.


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