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New Wave of DAB debate

New Wave Media has joined [link=https://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.5421]UTV[/link] and [link=https://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.5586]UKRD[/link] by making their concerns about the future of DAB and the handling of the migration process public.

Managing Director Adam Findlay has slammed Ofcom's understanding of radio and accuses them of relying too heavily on the advice of Global and Bauer, to the detriment of other players.

Adam continued to say "From the outset more than a decade ago the handling of DAB has been one of infliction against the radio industry. Radio operators were ‘incentivised’ to apply for the DAB multiplexes since the late 90’s, since which millions of pounds has had to be written off and an untold number of radio jobs lost as operators try to absorb the huge losses incurred over the past decade. It has been a disaster from the outset and operators of all sizes have been trying to recover ever since.

True, the larger radio companies were cajoled/bribed by the regulator to match the BBC expenditure by tossing millions of pounds down the DAB drain over many years. True, one understands their wish now to recoup some of that `investment’ but smaller stations throughout the UK will be put at a terrible disadvantage, particularly those in rural and island locations if those demanding a switch-off date have their way. Some could even disappear from the airwaves due to monopoly ownership of DAB transmitters resulting in uneconomic pricing or simply the lack of DAB in a given area.

Shareholders in the larger groups will come to rue the day they allowed their management to stumble blindly along the DAB path. I do however, accept that DAB does form part of the listening landscape as part of a mixed landscape which is likely to include analogue, internet and DAB. But DAB alone is not the one-stop-fix solution.”

[b]What are your thoughts on Ofcom’s handling of the migration to digital radio? Add your comments below or in our forums.[/b]

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