144/02

14 November 2002

 

New rules for local radio ownership

Responding to the announcement made today by Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, on the Government's proposed new rules on local radio ownership, the Radio Authority's Chief Executive, Tony Stoller, said:

"The Radio Authority welcomes Government's acceptance of our proposals to remove all sector-specific limits on UK-wide ownership of ILR stations, to extend licence length from eight years to twelve years and to make all remaining rules waveband neutral, and the broad approach we've suggested for cross-media ownership between radio and newspapers. While we are disappointed that Government has not adopted the formula we proposed to regulate in-area concentration of local commercial radio ownership, we welcome the decision to retain meaningful controls.

"The Authority regards guarantees of plurality of local ownership as important democratic safeguards. The provision of local news, local information, access to the airwaves for local people, as well as a range of employment opportunities and the choice of music playlists, are all important elements in a plural society which market forces alone cannot be relied upon to deliver."

 

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Click here to view the Radio Authority's submissions to Government on issues relating to the Draft Communications Bill.

2. The Radio Authority is responsible for licensing and regulating Independent Radio in accordance with the statutory requirements of the Broadcasting Acts 1990 and 1996. It plans frequencies, awards licences, regulates programming and advertising, and plays an active role in the discussion and formulation of policies which affect the Independent Radio industry and its listeners.


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Revised: November 14, 2002