Global requests new Ofcom boundary changes

Global has requested a number of changes to the new regional boundaries affecting some of its radio stations.

The new larger regions, published by Ofcom recently, allows radio stations within them to share all programming and studio locations. The regulator, however, said a station may also share its locally-made programmes with one or more other stations which are not in its approved area. “Any Format change requests seeking such permissions will not be approved as a matter of general policy, but instead will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be subject to consultation,” Ofcom says.

Global has asked Ofcom for permission to share programmes beyond the approved areas – and delay any decisions till the new year.

In an email to staff on Friday afternoon, seen by RadioToday, Founder and Executive President Ashley Tabor said he and the board would like to take Christmas and the New Year to consider the implications the new Guidelines have for the company fully, and does not want to rush into any changes.

Ashley told Globallers that Ofcom has made ‘some slightly odd choices’ on where boundaries sit in their newly defined regions, which he’d like more time to consider.

He added that the requests have been put in so the company has options, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they will act on them.

Under the new approved areas, the current nine Capital stations in England could operate as a national station with a token three-hour show in four new areas: North West, Midlands, South, and West of England. One of Global’s options could be to ask for permission to add Brighton (now in the ‘south’ region) to network with the Southampton output, (now in the West of England region).

Similarly, the 19 Heart stations in England could operate as a national service if added to national DAB, with a three hour opt-out during the daytime in just five regions – East of England, Central, North West, South, and West. These five regions could be cut further if requests to change the boundaries are successful.

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