The fallout from Newscorp’s £220 million takeover of talkSPORT parent company Wireless Group took another turn this afternoon, with morning show host Colin Murray announcing he was quitting the station as of September. Murray, a Liverpool fan, said that his position at the station was now “unsustainable” due to the “inevitable working relationship between talkSPORT and the Sun”.
Murray has hosted the 10am-1pm slot on the station since 2013 when he took over from Richard Keys and Andy Gray. The former Radio 1 and Match of the Day 2 host is also an ardent Liverpool fan and signed off his statement with #JTF96, in memory of the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy.
Murray’s announcement that he had been offered, and declined, a contract running until 2019 comes a day after Stan Collymore announced that his own deal with talkSPORT was not being renewed after eight years. So whilst the new owners clearly wanted to retain Murray, Collymore seems to have been deemed surplus to requirements. The former Liverpool striker has also had his beefs with the paper, which continues to be boycotted in most areas of the city following their coverage of the disaster in 1986. In 2014 he tweeted a copy of a letter sent by the tabloid referring to the boycott:
On the Sun website, there was a somewhat triumphant tone struck by their own version of the story with the paper running the headline “Colly-no-more”.
News Corp’s buyout of Wireless Group reflects the corporations desire to tighten its grip on football. TalkSPORT is a key rights holder for the Premier League and with News Corp’s Sky TV currently locked in a battle with BT Sport over TV rights, the takeover has quietly given Rupert Murdoch a re-grip on News Corp’s football operation. The purchase is also well-timed, being made cheaper by the Brexit economic fallout, with the takeover being made in US dollars due to News Corp being based in New York.