RadioCentre CEO Siobhan Kenny has urged Communications Minister Ed Vaizey MP to act swiftly to avoid potential chaos in radio licensing.
Speaking at the RadioCentre Members’ Conference in Westminster today, Siobhan said: “If we could ask anything of Ed Vaizey and his Government as we come up to manifesto time, it would be this: please provide greater certainty over licence renewals.”
“This small legislative change would help provide stability, secure investment and avoid multiple stations changing hands and brands all at the same time.”
Many of the most popular commercial radio licences will start to expire from 2017 onwards. Without new legislation the national licences (Classic FM, talkSPORT and Absolute Radio) will be auctioned to the highest bidder, regardless of the programming content or public value provided by these services. Local licences will be awarded by Ofcom on a “beauty parade” basis, draining resources from the sector and creating the risk of confusion for listeners.
Siobhan also called for a relaxation in content regulation of commercial radio in the face of increasing competition from the BBC and online music services.
“One of the most important jobs of the industry body is to provide the evidence that demonstrates the continuing value of the sector to our key audiences in a fast-changing world. I look forward to continuing that work.”