Thompson Achieves Dream

DMG’s Paul Thompson has achieved his dream of completing a national network of Nova stations, after winning the new Brisbane commercial FM licence with a bid of $80m.

The man, who started the Austereo network 20 years ago, appears unstoppable after his victory last week when he successfully bid $106m for Sydney ‘s newest FM station, which will operate in tandem with the top rating Nova 969. And, there’s a new FM licence up for grabs in Melbourne in August.

Immediately after yesterday’s Brisbane auction triumph, a delighted Thompson told radioinfo: “It works for us more because it’s the completion of our national network. If it was a standalone, we would have been more nervous. But, we have Nova stations everywhere and Nova Brisbane was missing, so this is important for us.

“In Sydney, we are starting a new stream but, here, it will be a Nova station. It will be a little bit different from Sydney and Melbourne, but it will be a contemporary under 30s radio station here in Brisbane. It will have minimal commercial content, which is a core element of our Nova stations.”

DMG Radio Australia is a relatively young company, starting operations in October 1996 with the purchase of the Broadcast Media Group and FIVEaa Adelaide.

DMG’s development in Australia is being driven from a platform of acquisition of existing stations and networks, and, through license auctions, the creation of new commercial stations.

Until recent years, most of DMG’s Australian development had been in regional areas. Of late, history shows the company has been bidding aggressively for new capital city FM licences as they become available and, in May 2000, bid successfully for the new Sydney and Melbourne commercial FM licenses.

Sydney’s newest FM station, Nova 969, went to air on 1 April 2001 and Melbourne’s Nova 100 on 3 December of the same year. DMG also is a 50% shareholder in Brisbane’s 97.3FM (with ARN) and Nova 93.7 Perth.

The company also acquired Brisbane easy music station, 4BH, and was the successful bidder for the new Gosford FM licence on the NSW Central Coast and the new Queensland Sunshine Coast FM licence.

DMG is headquartered in Adelaide and already has accumulated more licences than any other Australian radio broadcasting company – 64 licenses across five states.

DMG Radio Australia is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust Group, which has substantial media interests in the UK and other international markets.

In Australia, Paul Thompson is the Chief Executive and Director, and launched DMG’s operations in Australia 4½ years ago. With a 38 year radio career, he has launched, developed, programmed and managed radio stations and networks in all states. He was the founding Managing Director of the Austereo Group.

He is also Chairman of Sydney FM Radio Pty Ltd; Chairman of Melbourne Radio Pty Ltd; Chairman of dmg Regional Radio Pty Ltd; Chairman of Festival City Broadcasters (FIVEaa licensee) and Queensland Radio 2000 (4BH licensee); Vice-Chairman of Commercial Radio Australia; Director, Regional Radio Bureau.

With the Melbourne auction only four months away, is there any stopping this man?