Classic FM on Tuesday exited business rescue, putting to rest fears that the popular Johannesburg-based station could be off air for good.
The country’s only commercial classical music radio station announced that it had survived after it was placed on business rescue in September after drowning in debt.
A Classic FM media statement explained that the business rescue process, which resulted in several staff members being retrenched, came to an end after a consortium of media professionals made an offer to buy the radio station.
“After incurring significant debt as a result of financial challenges spanning many years, Classic 1027 FM was placed on business rescue on 30 September 2019.
“Extreme cost-cutting measures were a necessity of the business rescue process, as overheads were crippling the struggling business. Unfortunately, this resulted in a portion of the station’s staff being retrenched,” said the station’s management in a media statement released on Tuesday.
“The station’s rescue came after the business rescue practitioner accepted a bid from The Professional Consortium. This bid allows Classic 1027 FM to deal with its creditors and maintain its going concern status.
“The Professional Consortium is a group of highly skilled media, legal, and business management specialists who have a wealth of experience in commercial radio.
“Their initial focus is on implementing a strategy to stabilise operations. The consortium is presently reviewing strategies that will attract a larger- more diverse- audience with a view to maximizing the station’s reach on FM and digital platforms and gaining advertiser confidence.
“African Media Entertainment Limited (AME) will retain a small, non-controlling share in Classic 1027 FM, alongside its shareholding in Algoa FM and OFM. The transaction is conditional on regulatory approval from Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.”