ACE Radio to take over Nine’s music stations 2UE, 4BH & Magic1278

Former Editor & Content Director

ACE Radio is set to run Nine Radio’s music stations 2UE, 4BH and Magic1278 from early next year. The company is now advertising for sales people.

The two companies have signed an option, giving ACE Radio a multi-year lease on the stations.

Assuming the option is exercised, the stations would then be aligned with ACE’s existing network of 18 regional radio stations and 3MP in Melbourne.

Nine’s managing director of radio, Tom Malone, said the deal was a win for both networks.

“It’s almost two years since Nine acquired these stations as part of the Macquarie Media transaction. In that time, we have moved them from an unprofitable sports radio network to a clearly defined music offering which has seen audiences grow by 173%.

“This agreement with ACE Radio gives them the option to lease these music stations, opening a footprint in the metro radio market while at the same time freeing up Nine Radio to focus on our core strategy of talk radio.”

ACE Radio will spend the coming months putting together the logistical and sales infrastructure which should allow it to exercise the option in early 2022.

ACE CEO, Mark Taylor, noted the opportunities of the deal, particularly with Sydney’s 2UE.

“Stations like 2UE don’t become available every day. It was a particularly important part of our plans. The brand has a significant heritage in Sydney. And while we want to build on that, we also want to deliver something new and exciting to its audience.”

Nine became the majority shareholder in the company then known as Macquarie Media in 2018 when it acquired Fairfax. Then, Macquarie Media had talk stations such as Sydney’s 2GB and Melbourne’s 3AW, as well as a network of stations known as Macquarie Sports Radio.

In late 2019, the Macquarie Sports Radio talk programs were paused as the network looked at the stations’ development amid dire ratings.

In early 2020, Nine announced it would be dropping the sports-focused content and branding, and instead reviving heritage radio brands 2UE, 4BH and Magic, and playing 70s, 80s and 90s music on the stations.

Nine has since fully acquired the Macquarie Media network and rebranded it Nine Radio. It has been on a mission to ‘rebrand’ talk radio in the eyes of both consumers and advertisers and make it more appealing to a younger demographic.

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Chuck Tuna
28 Oct 2021 - 1:26 pm

Play different GOLD hit music to the others, add in entertaining jocks,

a few requests, etc = WINNER

Bryce
28 Oct 2021 - 5:37 pm

And that my friends is part of the reason why 4BH and 4BC switched.

Jock
28 Oct 2021 - 9:22 pm

That is poor form, Keep Magic the way it is and don’t switch.

Jock
28 Oct 2021 - 9:23 pm

Keep Magic the way it is, we don’t need ACE to run another station in Melbourne. 3MP is already a failure.

Graham Barry
29 Oct 2021 - 8:06 am

It would seem that the old saying is true.
Those can do, those who cant lease the business out to those who can.
This move can only equal impovement for the music stations.
They will hopefully employ entertaining staff and content directors.

Alex
29 Oct 2021 - 10:59 am

Hopefully they’ll return 4BH to its easy listening format. There’s simply no point in going up against 4KQ as they are currently trying to do. 4BH did so well as an easy listening station before it was ruined.

Joey
29 Oct 2021 - 12:45 pm

Four music stations in play here, including two in Melbourne. So here’s what might happen.

I’ve been impressed with the stewardship of 3MP since it bounced back to life last year. It looks and sounds great and projects confidence in the brand heritage that was lacking in recent years.

Ace need to apply the same care to 4BH by shifting it to be aligned with 3MP. Brisbane lacks a proper Smooth station, let alone a 3MP station. The change of frequency to 1116 should not be much of a barrier to reviving an “Easy Music 4BH”, not forgetting how excited 3AK in Melbourne were to shift down to the same frequency (down from 1503) in 2001.

2UE could more easily remain in alignment with Melbourne’s Magic given the different competitive situation in Sydney and Melbourne compared to Brisbane.

Really smart move.

JASON ANDREW TOPPIN
31 Oct 2021 - 4:13 pm

SIGN ALL 3MP TALENT TO MAGIC AND KEEP TYE CURREHTMUSIC FORMAT PLAYING AT MAGIC RELOCATE 2AY TALENT TO 2UE AND MIXFM COLAC TALENT TO 4BH THEN ADVERTUSE NAGUC 1278 IN MELBIURNETV, 2UE IN SYDHEY TV AND 4BH ON BRISBABE TV

Damian Anderson
1 Nov 2021 - 2:25 pm

What are ACE going to do with 2 stations in Melbourne?

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