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Communicorp Group Limited
Limited company
IndustryMass media (radio stations)
Founded1989 (1989)
HeadquartersDublin, Ireland
Key people
Denis O'Brien (owner)
Lucy Gaffney (chairperson)
Adrian Serle (CEO)
Number of employees

Communicorp Media is a media holding company based in Ireland and owned wholly by the Irish billionaire Denis O'Brien.


Communicorp Group Ltd was formed by Denis O'Brien in 1989. It launched its radio operations in Ireland that same year and entered the Czech Republic in 1992. It later[when?] added stations[which?] in Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland and Hungary.[1] Based in Dublin, the company now owns 42 radio stations in eight European countries, including Ireland's Newstalk, Today FM, Dublin's 98, SPIN 1038 and SPIN South West. O'Brien owns in its entirety Ireland's independent national radio (all stations apart from those run by state broadcaster RTÉ).[2]

O'Brien's Communicorp was the highest bidder for Emap's Irish operations when that company decided to sell its radio stations, buying FM104, Highland Radio and Today FM on 14 July 2007.[1][3][4] In October 2007, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) approved Communicorp's proposed takeover of Today FM and Highland Radio, but not FM104.[5][6] The deal was completed by January 2008.[7] Due to a Competition Authority decision, Communicorp was required to sell-on FM104, which it did (to UTV Media) immediately upon its acquisition. O'Brien offloaded Highland Radio in mid-2008.[8][9]

It opened two radio stations in Jordan in 2008.

On 21 July 2008, a joint bid from Boxer TV Access and Communicorp, supported by BT Ireland, were successful in obtaining three digital terrestrial television multiplex contracts from the BCI. Boxer DTT Limited withdrew from its agreement to provide a DTT platform on 20 April 2009.

In September 2012 Communicorp launched their only digital radio station

On 6 February 2014, Communicorp announced it would be acquiring eight UK stations from Global Radio, subject to review by Ireland's Competition Authority.[10] The stations were required to be sold off by the Competition Commission following Global's acquisition of GMG Radio in 2012. The formation of Communicorp UK on 1 April 2014, headquartered in Manchester, allows Communicorp UK to be operated as a standalone entity.[citation needed]


Apart from its radio portfolio in Ireland, Communicorp also owns stations in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Jordan and Latvia.[11]

United Kingdom
(All with the exception of XS Manchester under licence from Global Radio). Connect Radio 106.8 and Connect Radio 97.2 & 107.4 will become Smooth East Midlands once approved by Ofcom.
Czech Republic
  • Spin FM
  • Ayyam FM

Other subsidiaries[edit]

Communicorp also have an interest in ICAN, an interactive PR agency in the Irish online advertising market,[citation needed] and in the online marketplace[12] The latter began as a magazine called 'Buy & Sell', and changed ownership several times,[13][14] before being acquired in 2015 by Communicorp subsidiary, Demirca Ltd. In 2016, the name of the company was changed,[15] and in early 2017 the organisation claimed that it controlled 10 percent of the appliances market in Ireland.[16]


  1. ^ a b "Denis O'Brien's Communicorp to acquire Irish radio stations -Today FM, FM104 and Highland Radio - in €200m deal". Finfacts. 16 July 2007. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  2. ^ Byrne, Elaine (16 October 2011). "So who's afraid of Denis O'Brien? Enda Kenny is". Sunday Independent.
  3. ^ "Emap sells radio stations to O'Brien". RTÉ News. 16 July 2007. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015.
  4. ^ "O'Brien buys Emap radio stations in €200m deal". The Irish Emigrant. 18 July 2007. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Blow for O'Brien's €200m radio bid". Irish Examiner. 9 October 2007. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  6. ^ Beesley, Arthur (9 October 2007). "Denis O'Brien cannot buy FM104 as part of €200m deal". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  7. ^ Hancock, Ciarán (12 January 2008). "O'Brien seals €200m deal for Emap's three Irish radio outlets". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Denis O'Brien sells Highland Radio". The Irish Emigrant. 11 May 2008. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  9. ^ Hancock, Ciarán (12 January 2008). "O'Brien sells Highland Radio". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  10. ^ Martin, Roy (2014-02-06). "Communicorp buys 8 Global stations". RadioToday. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
  11. ^ Al-tamimi, Nasim (20 February 2008). "n@simjo ©: Exclusive Radio News! European brand "Spin FM" ... SOON IN JORDAN!".
  12. ^ "AdLib: Time to get set for Google Shopping". Independent News & Media. 16 February 2017. [] part of Denis O'Brien's Communicorp
  13. ^ "Associated to offload 'Buy and Sell'". Irish Independent. 13 May 2007. Retrieved 2012-05-03.
  14. ^ O'Faolain, Aodhan. "Liquidator seeks sale of 'Buy and Sell' to Demirca -".
  15. ^ People, Bray. "Newtown's Philip behind new online retailer -".
  16. ^ Cullen, Michael. "AdLib: Time to get set for Google Shopping -". Retrieved 31 March 2017.