Revenue expected to grow 20% a year at Gauteng’s top regional radio station.
Listed investment group Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI), which owns free-to-air television channel e.tv, bought 77,5% of Gauteng-based youth radio station YFM in its year to March.
HCI swooped on the stake in a single transaction.
CEO John Copelyn will not say from whom the group bought the shares or at what cost, but YFM shareholders before the purchase were Union Alliance Media (24%), Union Housing Trust (48%), Youth Development Trust (15%) and staff (13%).
YFM, which is Gauteng’s largest regional radio station, has a seven-day listenership of more than 1,5-million.
Copelyn says YFM is an “exciting station”, and is probably the most successful to be started in the 1990s.
YFM, formed in the 1990s along with stations such as Cape Talk, Kaya FM and P4, has a bigger total seven-day listenership than national youth market rival 5FM.
According to ACNielsen media research, from April last year to May this year, YFM raked in revenue totalling a little more than R72m.
Copelyn says HCI expects 20% revenue growth a year from the station. “I accept that the media business is a cyclical one, but over the short to medium terms we expect such growth,” he says. “The long-term future of the heart of the YFM audience is an aspirant and young group.”

Source: Business Day – Ron Derby
While YFM may lay claim to being the biggest regional station in Gauteng, Primedia`s cash cow 94.7 Highveld Stereo is undisputediy the most lucrative.
With a seven-day listenership of a little more than 1,3-million, Highveld Stereo contributed 41% of operating profit to Primedia’s interim earnings for the year to end-December.
YFM station manager Greg Maloka was not available for comment. Primedia CEO William Kirsh says Highveld Stereo`s. contribution will come down to 30% next year, with the other divisions contributing more.
Copelyn says Highveld Stereo’s audience is mature and more static than YFM’s. “I’d imagine over time, the gap between YFM and Highveld’s audience will close,” he says.
Kirsh says: “Highveld is a mature asset, and growth will be a lot less than the other businesses in the Primedia stable.”
In its financial year, HCI sold its financial interest in Africa-on-Air, which owns Highveld Stereo, for Rl8Om. On the Living Standards Measure (LSM), a tool that marketers use to determine ad placements, Copelyn says: “The LSM scale assumes that the buying capacity of an individual today remains the same tomorrow.”
Copelyn says the scale is static, particularly with regard to aspirant people.
The YFM brand in auteng has raised the possibility of the youth station getting a national licence, and with that, possibly a massive swell in listenership.
Copelyn says the possibility of a national reach is not the premise on which HCI has invested in the station.
“But we would like to expand our reach,”he says.
YFM’s target audience is Johannesburg`s black urban youth, aged between 16 and 34.

Source: Business Day – Ron Derby