Sold to the highest bidder! Hot Tomato sale confirmed

The Hot Tomato Broadcasting Company and Grant Broadcasters Pty Ltd have confirmed that they have agreed to terms for the sale of the 102.9 Hot Tomato Gold Coast licence and business.

Due diligence has been finalised with settlement and completion of the contract slated for 30 November 2018.

Grant Broadcasters Pty Ltd, established in 1942, is a family owned and operated group with a portfolio of 52 commercial radio station licences across the country.
Hot Tomato Broadcasting, also a family owned and operated company, was established in 2002 when it purchased the Gold Coast licence at a federal government auction. 102.9 HOT TOMATO first went to air on 1 August 2003.

Grant Broadcasters CEO Alison Cameron says the company is “thrilled to welcome Hot Tomato to the Grant Broadcasters family.”

“The station’s ethos of live and local fits firmly into the values of our company and our other local radio stations. The Hot Tomato team has done an outstanding job in being the leading voice of the local community on the Gold Coast.”

Hot Tomato’s Executive Chairman Hans Torv says “the cultural fit with Grants’ was particularly important; they are genuine radio people, as are all the Hot Tomato team.”

Torv says the company has been approached by different groups a number of times about selling the business, and after consideration, “it was also time for us to either scale up or move on.” He says is “presents great opportunities for both the business and the terrific staff who have made Hot Tomato the success it is today.”

radioinfo has been covering the independent Gold Coast station, owned by the Torv family, since it began.

In July 2002 we reported: “The auction will take place at Brisbane City Hall on Monday 26 August. There is a reserve price of $250,000 for the Gold Coast licence and $100,000 for the Nambour licence.”

We were there covering the auction when the licence was won by Hot Tomato in August 2002: “Mysterious upstart Hot Tomato bid $26 million to edge out DMG for the 3rd Gold Coast FM licence, while local company Pty Ltd paid just $8.2 million for the Sunshine Coast’s 3rd FM licence.”

Grant Broadcasters’ Janet Cameron was at the audction in 2002, but missed out at the time, as we reported: Grant Broadcasters stopped at $6.75 million.’s bidder faced off against former Channel 7 Brisbane General Manager Les Riley’s Sunshine Coast FM Pty Ltd. Mr Riley said, “It was about my upper limit, there was no point entering a bidding war.” A philosophical Janet Cameron told radioinfo of her future plans now, “That’s all for now, we will look after our current licences.”

In November 2002, the company began recruiting in newspapers and on radioinfo (Hot demand for Hot Tomato jobs), and appointed Graham Miles as GM the following month.

In January 2003, WSFM breakfast personality Hans Torv, now a director of Hot Tomato, spoke to radioinfo about his decision to leave WSFM after many years and join his brother’s company as they start their new radio station.

Read about more of Hot Tomato’s history from our two decades worth of rich archives and original reporting about the Australian radio industry.

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