Stroud licence to be handed back
According to a special report in MediaGuardian.co.uk, UKRD is set to hand back the licence of Star 107.3 in Stroud and cease broadcasts at the end of this month. The unprecedented move is said to be in "protest" at the over-regulation of small-scale radio by Ofcom following a rejected format alteration at the station last year and means the town will be without a local radio service unless the regulator re-advertises the licence.
Defending the action and the decision not to sell the station as a going concern, UKRD's chief executive William Rogers said: "There are scores of radio stations losing money that will never work and the regulator has got to have a serious look at how to manage this sector. It would have been almost unethical to sell the licence on, it's not a sound business and never would have been."
Mr Rogers set out a number of issues facing small local stations which he wants to see resolved: "Better signal strength for smaller stations; far less regulation; much more flexibility in how the product is delivered to air and much greater flexibility in format regulation."
According to the most recent RAJAR figures, Star reaches 12% of its TSA and achieves a 4% share of listening.
The station launched in 1998 as 107 The Falcon. Late last year, UKRD applied to the regulator for permission to network the output of the Stroud station with that of a neighbouring Star station in Cheltenham, but this was rejected although permission was given for the two stations to co-locate.