Radio mogul Findlay adds loss-making Original 106 to his stable

RADIO industry executive Adam Findlay has joined forces with two partners to acquire a commercial station in Aberdeen.

Findlay, the former managing director of Radio Forth in Edinburgh, has bought Original 106 for an undisclosed sum. The owner of Dundee-based Wave 102 has teamed up with John Quinn, chairman of Central FM, and Murray Strachan, a familiar figure in the Aberdeen oil and gas industry.

Original 106 launched in November 2007 under the ownership of Canwest, a Canadian based media company with global interests.

A year later the station under went a management buyout led by Iain McKenna who will remain for a short time until handing over control.

Also departing are shareholders Richard Johnson and Jonathan Arendt.

Findlay and Quinn will each take a 40 per cent stake in Original 106 with Strachan acquiring the remaining shares. It is currently loss-making but has built a loyal weekly audience of about 40,000, putting it third in the commercial sector in the area behind Northsound 2.

Findlay, son of former Clyde and Forth veteran Richard Findlay, now chairman of STV, has built a career in Scottish radio. He joined Forth from Northsound and after leaving Forth bought Wave102 from UTV. It was the first acquisition by his company New Wave Media which will also take in Original 106.

"We feel there is enormous potential in the station in an area that is enjoying buoyant times," he said. Original has a mainly affluent adult middle-of-the-road audience.

The outgoing shareholders issued a joint statement saying they were delighted to have been a part of Original 106 from its inception. It said: "We are pleased for both the staff and the client base that the station has been acquired by well-known existing radio operators. This did form part of our deliberations when we considered the various offers for the station."

Strachan is credited with the rise, management buyout and sale of RGIT Montrose.

He now has a wide variety of business and investment interests including specialist management consultancy, outsourced business solutions and other service based companies. He is also a director of the Entrepreneurial Exchange.

He said: "Original 106 was awarded a licence in 2006 to expand and broaden listener choice in the North-east of Scotland and the station has successfully carved a niche in the market. The station is well positioned to grow on its existing listener base."