UKRD’s CEO, William Rogers, has welcomed the recent announcement contained in Radiocentre’s new policy document urging that there be no “enforced” switchover of local commercial radio stations to DAB.
Speaking exclusively to RadioToday, William says: “We’ve been banging on about this for years, sometimes in the teeth of opposition from some within Radio Centre, and so I’m delighted that, at last, we’ve got clarity on the trade body’s considered position as well as its endorsement of the position we have been advocating since 2002″.
A fierce critic of the proposed enforced switch-over plans for local commercial radio stations, leading ultimately to UKRD’s resignation from Radio Centre in protest four years ago, the CEO told RadioToday, “This is a major improvement on the previously ill-considered position and we are delighted that there is now likely to be a sensible debate about this going forward. The concerns of genuinely local commercial stations were disregarded for too long and I view this as a welcome and important move towards a common sense position, taking into account the practical business and commercial realities we all have to manage.
“I hope that this is the beginning of a genuine attempt to garner and consolidate the views of the whole industry and make something of a more concerted effort to deliver a common and universally supported position for local commercial radio and the wider sector in all areas of policy,” he said.
UKRD has not been a member of Radiocentre, along with UTV, since 2011 and has not taken part in any initiatives carried out by the official body for commercial radio. This includes being excluded from the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards in 2012 and 2013. Last year, non-Radiocentre members were allowed to enter but both UKRD and UTV decided not to be part of the awards evening.
In reaction, a Radiocentre spokesperson said: “Our new policy document sets out priorities on everything from advertising regulation to the role of the BBC and we are really pleased that it has such widespread support.
“On digital radio we have sought to reflect the position that Government and industry have adopted since 2013, when it was announced that any future switchover must be consumer-led and that small stations can continue on FM while options like small scale DAB are being developed.”