Channel 4 Radio postponed

The launch of Channel 4 Radio could be delayed until April 2009, according to Ofcom. The speech based service is one of three to be provided by Channel 4 on the national 4 Digital multiplex.

In October, Ofcom's Radio Licensing Committee discussed a request by 4 Digital to postpone the launch of the station from January 2009 to April 2009. The Committee decided the delay fell within the terms under of the national radio multiplex licence.

The details of the discussion were only released by Ofcom at the end of November.

E4 Radio, a service aimed at 15 to 29 year olds, is still expected to begin broadcasting next year. The delay in launching Channel 4 Radio will affect the launch of Channel 4's third service 4 Plus, a station aimed at older listeners with an interest in music, the arts and entertainment.

The reason for the 18 month wait for Channel 4 Radio is unclear. Speculation suggests the delay may be connected to the availability of Bob Shennan, who last week announced departure from the BBC as controller of Five Live to become director of radio for Channel 4. A start date for Shennan has yet to be confirmed.

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