After almost seven weeks since its chief executive, Andy Duncan announced that Channel 4 was quitting 4 Digital, the broadcaster has still to agree on how to extract itself from the digital radio consortium.
Channel 4 owns 55 per cent of 4 Digital alongside partners that include Bauer Radio, UBC Media and UTV Radio and was due to launch ten national stations on the DAB platform. However, the economic downturn combined with commercial radio’s inability to make DAB yield a profit has seen Channel 4 withdrawing from digital radio altogether.
Some shareholders have expressed frustration at the broadcaster’s lack of progress since their decision to pull out of radio was announced in October. “Either they have an intention or they don’t, and if they have one the other shareholders would like to see them act on it,” said a source.
It’s now likely that the DAB multiplex licence 4 Digital were awarded by Ofcom will be returned to the media regulator early next year.