AZ Medien: Participation in Radio 32 approved

AZ Medien may indirectly participate in Solothurn's Radio 32, as decided by the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (Uvek).

Through the majority takeover at Dietschi AG, the publisher of the Oltner Tagblatt, AZ Medien now also indirectly holds a 21.9 percent stake in Solothurn's Radio 32, according to a statement. In addition to daily newspapers (including the Aargauer Zeitung) and television (Tele Züri, Tele M1, Tele Bärn, TV24), Peter Wanner's group also controls the two licensed FM stations Radio 24 and Radio Argovia.

Under the Radio and Television Act (RTVA), a company may own an unlimited number of radio and television stations, but no more than two stations each with a licence. The Uvek concludes that it is neither legally nor factually possible for Dietschi - and thus indirectly AZ Medien - to exercise decisive influence over the licensed Radio 32. Radio 32's licence cannot therefore be attributed to the AZ Medien Group - in this respect it does not exceed the maximum number of licensed stations. Since the change of ownership of Dietschi does not entail any change in Radio 32, all the licensing conditions can still be considered to be fulfilled. The Uvek therefore approved AZ Medien's indirect holding in Radio 32.

The RTVA stipulates that any change in shareholding of more than 20 percent in a licensed broadcaster constitutes an economic transfer of the licence and must be approved by the Department. Radio 32 holds a licence from the Uvek for the provision of a local-regional FM radio programme service in the Solothurn-Olten area. The media company AZ Medien withdrew completely from Radio 32 in 2012, having previously dominated the radio economically since 2009. The AZ Medien Group's television stations Tele M1 and TeleBärn hold a licence, while Tele Züri and TV24 are so-called reportable channels.

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