AZ Medien: Participation in Radio 32 approved

AZ Medien may indirectly participate in Solothurn's Radio 32, as decided by the Federal Department of 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 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 (RTVG), a company may own an unlimited number of radio and television stations, but no more than two stations each with a license. The Uvek concludes that it is neither legally nor factually possible for Dietschi - and thus indirectly AZ Medien - to exercise a determining influence on the licensed Radio 32. Radio 32's license can therefore not 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 at Dietschi does not result in any change at Radio 32, all licensing requirements can still be considered fulfilled. The Uvek has 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 license and must be approved by the Department. Radio 32 holds a license from the Uvek to broadcast a local-regional FM radio program in the Solothurn-Olten area. The media company AZ Medien had completely withdrawn from Radio 32 in 2012, having previously economically dominated the radio since 2009. The AZ Medien Group's TV stations Tele M1 and TeleBärn hold a license, while Tele Züri and TV24 are so-called reportable channels.

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