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Guardian Media Group acquires Century Radio

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Guardian Media Group plc (“GMG”) has today acquired the two Century radio stations in the North West and North East of England from GCap Media plc for a combined price of £60 million. GMG is financing the acquisition price from its own cash resources and borrowing facilities.

The two regional stations, which broadcast across the North East and North West of England, have a combined Total Survey Area (TSA) of over 7 million adults and enjoy the same format as the successful Real Radio brand. This acquisition gives GMG a total of seven regional FM stations across the UK, elevating it to the fourth largest radio group in the country.

The deal allows GCap Media plc to retain the right to sell the Century stations to National Advertising Agencies. Regional Agency Sales will also remain with GCap, apart from Century NE. Local sales teams will continue to manage their own direct airtime. Century North West attracts 751,000 adult listeners and 5.6 million listening hours each week and Century North East 533,000 adult listeners and 4.2 million hours*.

Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive, Guardian Media Group plc said:

“These are great assets and are a perfect match for our existing radio portfolio. The purchase supports our wider Group strategy of expanding our radio operations through licence applications and acquisitions together with diversifying our overall Group media portfolio.“

John Myers, Chief Executive, Guardian Media Group Radio added:

“These are two very good stations, with great people and in areas of the UK we know well. It gives us increased scale and consolidates our determination to be a major force in radio”.

GMG Radio now has five of the top 10 regional stations in the UK and two out of the top three in market share*. The addition of the two Century stations gives GMG the largest regional footprint in the UK.

For more information please contact:
Joe Burton Tel: 020 7298 7268/07884 253 954
Shaun Williams Tel: 020 7713 4335/07748 961740
John Myers Tel: 07768 186989

Notes to Editors:

GMG Radio’s portfolio of assets consists of:

· Real Radio in Scotland, Yorkshire and South & West Wales.
· Smooth fm in London and the North West.
· Century in the North East and North West.
· Q96 in Scotland
· Real Radio on DAB and Sky Digital across the country
· Smooth fm on DAB, Sky Digital and Freeview across the country.
· Century fm on DAB and Sky Digital across the county
· GMG has steadily grown its radio division through new licence applications and acquisitions, spending a total of £130 million on the latter over the last five years.
· GMG Radio is the fourth largest radio group in the UK on the important measure of total listening hours.

* Source: RAJAR/Ipsos MORI period ending June 2006 within each respective station’s TSA

Guardian Media Group plc (GMG) is one of Britain’s leading media companies, which in the year ending 2 April 2006 earned pre-tax profits of £66 million on turnover of £700 million. Its diverse portfolio includes national media – the Guardian and Observer newspapers and the Guardian Unlimited websites; regional media – the Manchester Evening News and more than 40 other regional newspapers in the North West and Surrey and Berkshire, Channel M and Manchester Online; five radio stations under the Real Radio and Smooth FM brands; and Trader Media Group, one of Europe’s largest specialist media and online companies.

GMG is wholly owned by the Scott Trust, which was created in 1936 to secure the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity.