Singo makes his move on Fairfax’s stake in Macquarie Media

The unlikely alliance between John Singleton, Mark Carnegie and Fairfax Media through Macquarie Media could be coming to an end after Singleton and Carnegie launched a bid to take full ownership of the radio network on Friday.

Fairfax owns 54.5% of the AM radio network which includes 2GB, 3AW, 2UE, 6PR and 4BC, while Singleton and Carnegie control the remaining 45.5%, with Singleton controlling a 34% stake.

Mumbrella has confirmed the duo requested access to Fairfax’s due diligence room, which was initially reported in The Australian.

Fairfax merged its radio interests, including 2UE, with Singleton’s operation in 2015 with the merged entity operating under the Macquarie Media banner and Singleton forced to sell Sydney station 2CH under the existing media ownership rules.

Promoter Glenn Wheatley bought the station earlier this year after the ACMA forced the sale.

The move by Singleton and Carnegie to consolidate their hold on the AM talk market comes as changes to media ownership rules are being debated in the Senate.

It also comes as Fairfax sits at the centre of a battle between TPG Capital and Hellman & Friedman over a possible takeover.

Since the merger of the radio networks, Singleton’s right hand man, Russell Tate has overseen the running of the stations and launched a complete redesign of programming on 2UE, recalibrating it as a Talking Lifestyle station offering more infotainment to position it apart from the talkback driven 2GB and 3AW.

The network dominates the AM band with its stars Alan Jones, Ray Hadley and Neil Mitchell.

A Fairfax media spokesman declined to comment on the reports.


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