To say this is a coup for Virgin Radio would be a massive understatement. Talking to people at Radio 2 it seemed there was a worry that he was getting a bit bored a recurring Evans trope but there was no desire for him to leave. On deciding to move, he would have had the pick of any radio station in the country. Especially as we approach a point where the big groups can network breakfast, there would have been no one to turn him down. Chris, though, has always been a master of reinvention, grasping the media narrative and doing the unexpected.
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Although SMG insists it sees earnings growth in Ginger aside from Evans, analysts and rivals have questioned the value of the company without its star proprietor, a question which SMG has answered by ensuring he cannot walk away with his multi-million pound haul. SMG's chief executive, Andrew Flanagan, said that the company also has an option to renew Evans's contract for a further three years, covering all his television and radio work. Mr Flanagan added he was confident that Evans, who walked out on his BBC contract to produce the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, would remain motivated to work for the new company. This guy is already very wealthy and he still gets up every day at 4am to do his radio show," he said. He was a little known DJ on GLR 10 years ago before he joined the Big Breakfast in and became known as a talented producer and presenter. The Channel 4 entertainment series Don't Forget Your Toothbrush consolidated his reputation, and the future of his production company Ginger Television. The show's contract finishes at the end of the year and although talks with Channel 4 are continuing, no decision has been made about its future.
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Rob Woodward, chief executive of SMG, the Scottish commercial broadcaster, has remained tight-lipped about the upcoming sale of Virgin Radio. We will are not a forced seller and we will keep shareholders informed. It still has to negotiate a royalties deal with Virgin Group to use the station's name. Once the deal is done, Woodward will have succeeded in one of his major ambitions set when he was brought in to turnaround the former Scottish Media Group after its merger plans failed.
Chris Evans will leave BBC Radio 2 after Christmas, after 13 years presenting at the station, to become the breakfast show host at the relaunched Virgin Radio. Evans pictured, above hosted the breakfast show on the original Virgin Radio from to That station was rebranded as Absolute Radio in , after its sale to new owners.