with RCS

Radio needs less regulation

The new Chief Executive of industry body The RadioCentre, Andrew Harrison, has described commercial radio as "over regulated" and has vowed to lobby for a change on various rules such as formats, the programming that radio stations use and how they sell sponsorship, the Financial Times reported today.

He told the newspaper: "Commercial radio needs liberalising to help it compete against the BBC and rival advertising media such as the internet."

"There is no doubt that if you look at the number of regulators working in radio and the sector's size that – compared with TV – radio has a high regulatory burden," Harrison said in the interview.

"What we need is for Ofcom to set a liberal environment so licence holders can thrive and make money. That is in the listeners' interests," he said.

"If stations can't make a success from licences, it is listeners who will lose out. The broad thrust we want is for less regulation, less format restriction and more opportunity to secure long-term revenues."

Harrison said pushing for this change would be one of his top priorities in his new role, along with moving the industry from analogue to digital broadcasting.

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