JACKquisition as OXIS Media buy JACKfm brand

By James Cridland for
Posted 26 March 2015, 11.35am edt

OXIS Media

OXIS Media, the operator of JACKfm and JACK 2 in Oxfordshire, have announced that they've purchased the rights to the JACKfm brand from the Canadian operators Sparknet.

The deal, which is in perpituity, means OXIS Media owns the JACKfm brand in the UK, Ireland, and Europe.

The JACKfm brand promises a wider mix of music than many stations, and has a tagline of "playing what we want". It's a music-intensive format that uses automation and personality-filled voiceovers. The UK "voice of Jack" is Paul Darrow, the former Blake's 7 actor.

OXIS worked with Sparknet to launch JACKfm's first brand extension, the Futuri Media powered JACK 2 request station, in August 2013.

The JACKfm brand is also used by Celador stations across the South of England. It has a track record of increasing audience figures as well as station profitabilty.

The photograph above shows Ed Vaizey, who turns out to be a local MP, with the JACKfm team. It's Ed Vaizey's second appearance on today, and we hope he doesn't want to charge us appearance fees.

Press Release

Oxis Media today announces that it has acquired the JACKfm and JACK 2 brands for the UK and throughout the European Union, having purchased the intellectual property from Sparknet Communications in Canada on all platforms & devices in perpetuity. The principals of Oxis Media are Clive Dickens, Donnach O’Driscoll, Ian Walker, Anthony Timson and Adrian Robinson. Having already created the highly successful and innovative Absolute Radio national brand (now owned by Bauer Media), JACK is now set to be rolled out across more UK territories.

Currently, Oxis Media owns and manages two JACK radio stations in Oxfordshire, 106 JACKfm and JACK 2. The combined business has an 18% reach* across Oxfordshire with JACK 2, now enjoying the highest ever RAJAR audiences since the licence was awarded over 12 years ago. JACK 2 is the only UK radio station allowing listeners to “control the music” by voting for their favourite songs and influencing what gets played next direct from their smart phone or connected device.

Clive Dickens, Chairman Oxis Media, says... “When we first brought JACK to the UK in 2007 we always planned to increase its presence locally. Before today we have been one of several JACK franchisees here, but now we own the brand in the UK and Europe. We’re hugely excited about the opportunities for growth, of course this is more than just a radio brand, and we will continue to expand our digital innovation strategy, working alongside our partners Triton Digital and Omny Studio. Our team in Oxford are pioneers in the digital space and we can’t wait to get started on delivering our listeners and advertisers a more targeted and refined digital execution of this exciting brand.”

Donnach O’Driscoll, CEO Oxis Media says... “Having created the Absolute Radio brand and built it into one of the most successful commercial radio brands in the country, we want to do the same with the JACK brand. JACKfm Oxfordshire is the most awarded local station in the country and we have exciting plans to develop and expand the JACK footprint. We will continue to pull more rabbits out of hats; just like we did we did at Absolute Radio making sure digital innovation is at the core to the growth plans for our business. Our Award Winning InStream technology will again be part of our core focus allowing more geo targeting of our audience, delivering better ROI for our advertisers too.”

Ed Vaizey – MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries and local MP for Didcot & Wantage, says... ”Since JACKfm Oxford launched in October 2007, the radio station and brand has been such a phenomenal local success story. Since also beginning broadcasting on DAB across Oxfordshire JACKfm is enjoying record audiences. The station continues to innovate, is continually awarded for industry excellence and as my local radio station, I am delighted the management is now fully in control of its digital destiny by owning outright the JACK brand for the UK”.

Pat Bohn and Garry Wall – founders of SparkNet Communications say: “We share OXIS’s enthusiasm for acquiring the JACKfm brand in the UK and European Union. The OXIS team have been great partners and have always shared the values of the JACKfm brand, with ownership in the UK and Europe they now have the freedom and creative outlet to be even more innovative”. SparkNet Communications continues to own and manage the brand in United States and worldwide. Bohn continues “With this team’s previous track record the sky’s the limit for the JACKfm brand and I look forward to seeing what they will do”.

More information

James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.


5 years, 9 months ago

What was it about Canada?
Some parallelism? I couldn't get the story.

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