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Sun shines for winner in AM licence battle.

Sunshine has been given a clear run at renewing its licence.

The Ludlow AM station's owner, South Shropshire Communications, was the only bidder for the licence renewal by the time the deadline was reached.

Under The Radio Authority's new fast-track system the company has until mid-June to submit its proposals for the new licence period, running for eight years from October next year.

The licence, for an area with an adult population of about 90,000, will not be re-advertised competitively.

The authority will decide in the early autumn whether Sunshine has met the statutory criteria to qualify for a further eight-year licence.

The boss of South Shropshire Communications, Mr Muff Murfin, has been building a mini-empire of four AM stations across the region.

In January, he was finally given permission by the Radio Authority to acquire Classic Gold in Hereford and Worcester from GWR, which he intends splitting into two at drive time and breakfast periods, to cover the two counties separately.

Earlier this year, Mr Murfin gained control of Maldwyn FM in Newtown, Powys - again after a long process, this time with the added bile of a bitter battle against a rival station-owner.

He claimed that, after a revamp, the Welsh station was making pounds 1,500 a month - the first time it has been in profit for six years - and picking up listeners.

Mr Murfin, who was one of the many owners of Birmingham's ill-fated Buzz FM, also owns Kix AM in Coventry.

Wyvern FM has announced a new advisory board which it says will "reaffirm the radio station's commitment to the local community".

"The role of the new advisory board is one of custodian of local performance and guardian of the licence," said Wyvern FM managing director Ms Rhian Garbett-Edwards.

"It aims to ensure that the station format is adhered to and that Wyvern remains competitive and in tune with local people and their interests."

CrownGate centre manager Mr Trevor Lloyd-Adams has been appointed chairman, while Mr Alan Curless, chief executive of Hereford and Worcester Chamber of Commerce, has been made a non-executive member.

Mr Nicholas Tresilian, a Classic FM presenter, is the GWR group representative.

Herefordshire businessman Mr Doug Burgoyne and chairman of the Young Enterprise Wyre Forest Area board Ms Louise Hewett are non-executive board members.

The group will meet quarterly.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 17, 1999
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