In light of the Digital Britain Final Report, Ofcom has recommended relaxing media regulation by allowing commercial local radio stations in one area to be owned by one company.
Proposing to do away with the rules that govern local and national radio multiplexes, Ofcom has also launched a fresh consultation on allowing commercial stations to share programming as long as said programming is made available for a digital audience.
In a statement, the media regulator suggests that, ‘removal would reduce regulation on an industry facing difficult market conditions and may allow stations opportunities to be more viable.’
In their own words and in light of the current economic crisis, Ofcom suggests that the ‘liberalisation’ they propose, ‘will increase the flexibility of local media to respond to market pressures.’
However, the restrictions that apply to broadcasting licences – in light of guarding against undue influence – remain unchanged.