Ofcom urged to deregulate
RadioCentre have made their responce to Ofcom's Future of Radio consultation public and urges the regulator to start a deregulatory programme immediately. The commercial radio body said there is an 'urgent need to chart radio's journey towards a digital future' in the 70-page report.
"Current levels of investment in digital radio are unsustainable without such a plan.." the report continues. RadioCentre urges a new self-regulatory approach to localness, with the industry taking greater responsibility for its delivery. [i]"The focus of this new system should be on delivery of local material rather than quotas for locally-produced programming[/i]"
RadioCentre praises Ofcom for carrying out the review but believes that the rapid pace of change in the market demands faster and more radical approaches than Ofcom is currently proposing.
Andrew Harrison, CEO of RadioCentre said today: "Together with our listeners we have a stake in the future of radio. Our listeners love radio — in our Big Listen survey about the future of radio, over 10,000 listeners took part and over 91% of them said 'radio is an important part of my life'. We need to make sure that Britain's oldest universal medium renews itself to thrive as a vibrant and dynamic force in UK media through the 21st Century as it has done through the twentieth century.
"With new technologies and demands on consumers' time continuing to emerge, Commercial Radio is continuing to invest in inspiring content and multi-platform presence to win audience and revenues. We need Ofcom to play its part in enabling that investment by reducing Commercial Radio's regulatory burden.
On Media Ownership Rules, RadioCentre welcomes Ofcom's general agreement that the existing radio ownership regime merits reform and liberalisation, but argues that the evidence points towards a more radical revisiting of the rules than Ofcom has chosen to recommend. Specifically, RadioCentre proposes that the radio-specific rules on concentration of ownership should be removed, local cross-media ownership rules should be retained and that the Government should continue to retain the right to intervene in mergers of special public interest.
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