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filler
Friday, 3rd August 2001

Downturn in radio advertising forces rethink at internet venture koko.com

GWR Group plc has put a hold on development of its internet venture koko.com for the foreseeable future, following the downturn in radio advertising. The standalone website network, whose primary purpose is to act as a radio and information portal for its portfolio of FM radio stations across England and Wales, only launched at the beginning of the year.

With little sign of recovery in advertising spending, Ecast Ventures, the online division of GWR Group plc set up specifically to develop the radio portal, will instead concentrate purely on


koko.com
promotion of its local radio stations and providing local information through koko.com in the future.

The cutbacks at koko.com have already resulted in 46 job losses, which will save the radio group 1.3 million. Recently, shares in the radio group hit their lowest since November 1998 at 204p, but have bounced back slightly since the announcement that the company is to discontinue development of koko.com until the advertising market stabilises. Only a handful of the affected workforce at koko.com have been offered a move from internet sales to radio sales.

It is understood initial investment in koko.com stood at around 5.3 million. Microsites for stations in North Wales had been expected to go live within the next few weeks, however it is now unlikely these will be launched until work is restarted on koko.

Related links:
koko.com, now a slimmed-down site until further notice.

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