SanomaWSOY to Enter Radio Business - Radio Helsinki to Helsingin Sanomat

Helsingin Sanomat Oy, part of the SanomaWSOY Group, will purchase the operations of Radio Helsinki, a local radio station operating in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Radio Helsinki has five employees and 40 contributors. The channel established in 2000 has about 50,000 unique listeners per week.

- Our strategic aim is to be a cross media publisher. Radio Helsinki is an attractive opening on the radio front. It is a small but valued unit, which excellently complements to our product offering in our core area, says Mikael Pentikäinen, President of Sanoma Corporation.

- The deal will contribute to strengthening the cross media perspective of Helsingin Sanomat and the paper's position in the Helsinki metropolitan area, says Pekka Soini, President of Helsingin Sanomat.

After the closing of the deal, Radio Helsinki will strengthen its local newsgathering and increase reporting on events and entertainment in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The objective of the channel is to be the most listened commercial local radio station in its target group within three years.

- Helsingin Sanomat and Radio Helsinki will actively utilise cross marketing opportunities. This will increase the amount of listeners and contribute to improving profitability, says Soini.

The target group is the young and young adults living in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The content of the channel will be close to Helsingin Sanomat's Nyt weekly supplement and paper's local reporting. - Radio Helsinki will give Helsingin Sanomat a new chance to reach young people in the capital area and strengthen the paper's status in this age group, says Janne Virkkunen, Senior Editor-in-Chief of Helsingin Sanomat. According to Virkkunen, the radio channel's programme profile facilitates broadcasting of material that is today in the Nyt supplement as well as city news. This will in the long run strengthen both Helsingin Sanomat and Radio Helsinki.

Radio Helsinki's current operative management is committed to further develop the channel in the service of the new owner.

- The trend in the radio sector is towards exact formats and firmly controlled music lists. Radio Helsinki is a positive exception and will continue to follow the original philosophy of local radios. We will stress journalism, particularly local news, culture, city planning, municipal politics, and versatile music, says Paula Salovaara, Editor-in-Chief of Radio Helsinki.

The acquisition is subject to the Government approval of the transfer of licence to Helsingin Sanomat Oy. The decision is expected by the end of June.

The acquisition is in line with SanomaWSOY's strategy to operate widely in the various fields of media in Finland and to focus its international expansion on magazines, educational publishing, and press distribution.

Helsingin Sanomat Oy is part of the Sanoma division of the SanomaWSOY Group.

Radio Helsinki's frequency is 95.2 MHz and in HTV's cable network 104.0 MHz. It can also be listened at