lachmurDaily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT) today announced that Illyria will acquire 50 per cent of DMG Radio Australia and that Lachlan Murdoch will become chairman of the joint venture company.
DMG Radio Australia holds nine radio licences, including the national Nova FM network of stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and the Vega FM stations in Sydney and Melbourne.

Cathy O’Connor, chief executive of DMG Radio Australia , said today that the new joint venture is ‘an exciting step forward for DMG Radio Australia ’.

“DMG Radio Australia is well positioned for further growth and can extend its brands in both broadcast radio and related media,” Ms O’Connor said. “Working with an experienced and committed Australian owner in Illyria will increase our opportunities to achieve that growth.”

Lord Rothermere, chairman DMGT, said: “I am thrilled to welcome Illyria as a partner in DMGT's growing Australian radio business. I am excited by the potential that their expertise and focus will bring to an already successful management team.”

Illyria chairman Lachlan Murdoch said that DMG Radio Australia is a ‘strong business with talented on and off air people. Together we will explore new growth opportunities in the existing business and also in related media’.

“I am very happy to be partnering with DMGT in driving the future of DMG Radio Australia . Patience is a virtue, and after exhaustively searching the market for the right acquisition, we have found in DMG Radio Australia the right business, the right partner and the right brands which are positioned for exemplary growth.”

“The skills we have in-house at Illyria will complement the strengths of DMG Radio Australia . I’m looking forward to working with Cathy O’Connor and her team and I am pleased Paul Thompson will be remaining as special advisor to me,” Mr Murdoch said.

Nova continues to be a leading national radio network for listeners aged 18-39, while Vega, re-launched in 2006, is steadily growing its share of the 40-54 demographic, a complementary audience profile to Nova.