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Radio body wants rules relaxed

RadioCentre, the industry body for Commercial Radio, is urging the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to relax the rules on local media mergers. The body wants the review to have a wider focus that will include radio.

The industry body insists that relaxation of the rules across the board would help radio companies to invest with certainty in a digital future, would secure investment in the local content which listeners most value and could even prevent the closure of many local radio stations round the UK.

Said Andrew Harrison, chief executive of RadioCentre: “The level of ownership regulation faced by the Commercial Radio sector is out of all proportion to the industry's size and influence on the advertising market. More than ever, we compete in a multi-media world for advertisers' revenues as well as for consumers' time.”

He added: “Commercial Radio is a small industry facing serious economic challenges, yet the combination of the current merger regime and media ownership rules restricts the activities of local radio in an even more severe manner than for the newspaper and TV industries."

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