Taunton replaces MacKenzie at The Wireless Group

Ulster Television, the new owners of The Wireless Group, has brought in its own man, Scott Taunton, as the successor to Kelvin MacKenzie as chief executive.

The move comes just a month after UTV’s £100m purchase of the company was sealed by shareholders – a move that triggered the widely expected departure of MacKenzie from the chairman and chief executive position.

Taunton takes the helm at TWG, which owns the TalkSport brand, after leaving the post of business development director at UTV, where he had overall responsibility for radio and new media at the Belfast-based broadcaster.

The Australian-born Taunton said: “I am delighted to take one of the most exciting jobs in British media.

“Kelvin has done a great job at building awareness of the TalkSport brand. I will now focus on growing our audience nationally and locally to provide a compelling commercial offering to advertisers, and ensuring the highest quality output for our listeners.”

Taunton joins the TWG at a major point in the company’s history following the recent switch to UTV and a solid period of expansion and potential new launches.

TWG won the major new FM licence for Edinburgh FM last year and is still in the running for a similarly lucrative licence for the Solent region, due to be announced this year.

It recently lost out to GCap’s Xfm for the new Manchester licence.

UTV’s mark on the TWG business has also been felt in other areas of the company’s commercial structure, with Kelvin’s son and sales director Ashley MacKenzie and Michael Franklin, managing director of TalkSport, all leaving.

By Kevin May

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