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Commercial radio looks forward

The suggestion that commercial radio will helm the launch of two new national digital radio stations if regulations on their sector are eased has been revealed in a new report.

The confidential report, commissioned by trade body the RadioCentre and delivered by Ingenious Consulting, which has been seen by MediaGuardian.co.uk, says that commercial radio would launch a round the clock news and speech station plus a national music-based entertainment network on the struggling DAB platform.

In return for the newly dedicated services, the report has urged Ofcom to cut back the number of hours that small commercial stations are required to produce and allow for the co-locating of more small-scale broadcasters.

Industry speculation has suggested the two new services would be based around Global Radio's London talk station, LBC, and Smooth Radio, owned by GMG Radio.

However, the RadioCentre chief executive, Andrew Harrison, said no decision had been taken as to what the two new national DAB services might be.

An Ofcom spokesman said: "Ofcom would welcome the launch of more national stations that would cater for a number of tastes and interests.”

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