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Broadfield buys in to some of Margaret River’s Lifestyle

NEWSCOMM Corporate Communications director Rob Broadfield has expanded his interests in Margaret River with the acquisition of the Margaret River radio station 1611 AM from Perth operator Lifestyle Radio.

The sale of the station for what’s understood to be just under $1 million will provide Lifestyle with a much-needed cash injection to further its plans for a statewide radio network.

Lifestyle Radio is also currently embroiled in a legal battle against North West Radio over the sale of the businesses to mining radio station Red FM.

Lifestyle Radio non-executive director Chris Pye said it had been a long, hard battle for the station, “but with new capital behind it I’m sure it’ll be a success”.

“Lifestyle had a few normal challenges to get the network up and running … but it’s better for the company to sell the (Margaret River) radio station,” Mr Pye said.

Lifestyle Radio identified the soft economy, particularly in regional areas as one of the stumbling blocks for the regional station.

“I’m surer there’ll be a happy ending. We’re very confident about the future, it’s been very tough for Lifestyle and the North West Radio saga made it very much more difficult,” Mr Pye said

Lifestyle Radio chairman Alistair MacKinlay said the company basically sees itself as a marketing business.

“We’ve retained some of the marketing rights for Margaret River radio and we’re supplying programming,” Mr MacKinlay said.

“The money’s always nice but we’ve got other opportunities that are more attractive.”

While Mr MacKinlay has retained a 20 per cent interest in the radio station, he will not be a director, with the station to be run by Broadfield Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of Newscomm.

Mr Broadfield plans to rebadge and relaunch the regional station with a dedicated local focus for the news, sport and talk.

“We’re going to relaunch it and we want to give it back to the people in Margaret River,” Mr Broadfield said.

“I want to train up local people, I think it’s important to get the people involved and get the community on board.”

In April of this year Mr Broadfield announced that Newscomm was opening an office in Margaret River to service a growing number of clients in the South West region.

Now, with the radio station and plans to rapidly build up the equity of the business, Mr Broadfield has appointed Nichola Holgate to look after the day-to-day running of the Perth business when he’s called away down south.

“It’s (the radio station) on skeleton staff at the moment but we’re very quickly going to gear it up to about 10 people,” Mr Broadfield said.

“We’re definitely in this for the long term, it may well be the cornerstone of a bigger operation and maybe a couple more stations.”

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