‘A Big Four offers no choice’

Link: Read the full interview with Mark Donnelly

Mark Donnelly, FD of the radio station now owned by Scottish Media Group, also argued that regulation of the accounting profession needs to be changed to improve the reputation of the industry.

‘There is a lack of choice with only four large firms,’ said Donnelly. ‘By the time you have discounted those auditors who are conflicted or who audit your competitors you may be left with a choice of only one or two audit firms. If this is the case I don’t see how compulsory rotation will be practical. Also I think this will lead to fees increasing.’

Virgin Radio is currently in the middle of a massive advertising slump and has seen its listening figures drop by 20% over the last year. Despite the financial backing of SMG, Donnelly admitted that the station could be susceptible to take-over if it doesn’t progress as is hoped.

‘We are aware that if we don’t do something we are vulnerable (to take over),’ said Donnelly. ‘We are not big enough to exist just as Virgin in the long-term, and if that continues to be the case then someone will come in and try to acquire that asset.’

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