106/03

2 October 2003

Radio Authority awards new regional ILR licence for West Midlands to Kerrang! Radio

The Radio Authority announced today (2 October) that, after considering the proposals submitted by the eleven applicants, it is offering the new regional Independent Local Radio (ILR) licence on the FM waveband for the West Midlands to:

KERRANG! RADIO (KERRANG! RADIO [WEST MIDLANDS] LTD.) - c/o Birmingham City Football Club, St. Andrews Stadium, Birmingham B9 4NH (contact Karren Brady, 0121 202 5230; or Lynne Wood, 07741 006903); a specialist music and talk service for the rock community of the West Midlands, mixing modern and classic rock with stimulating, distinctive speech.

This licence is for the provision of a service covering the main conurbations of Birmingham and Wolverhampton, and the surrounding areas, together with parts of Warwickshire and Staffordshire. The adult population within the measured coverage area in which this new service should be received is around 2.3 million.

Commenting on the award of the licence, David Witherow, Executive Chairman of the Authority, said:

"This is the last regional licence to be awarded by the Radio Authority before its powers transfer to Ofcom at the end of the year. A variety of proposals were submitted from a wide range of applicants and they were generally of an impressively high standard, making our decision all the more difficult. At the end of a long discussion, Members decided that Kerrang! Radio best met the statutory criteria, and its programming aimed at an under-served segment of the younger population will clearly widen choice in the region."

The licence will come into effect as soon as Kerrang! Radio begins broadcasting.

The Authority will be publishing its assessment of Kerrang!'s application shortly.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. This is the seventeenth regional licence to be awarded by the Radio Authority, outside Greater London, and makes the West Midlands the only region in the UK to be served by three regional licences: 100.7 Heart FM, Saga 105.7 FM, and this new licence. In addition to these, the Authority licenses 254 local analogue radio services and 3 national analogue services. The Authority has also committed itself to facilitating the rapid growth of digital radio. Following the award of the new Cambridge digital multiplex licence today, there is a total of 45 local multiplex licences and 1 national multiplex licence, providing over 300 programme services. These services taken together offer listeners across the UK with a wide variety of listening choice.

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.

3. At the end of this year, the Radio Authority will cease to exist, and its responsibilities for licensing and regulating Independent Radio will pass to Ofcom, the new converged regulator for the communications sector. See the Ofcom transitional website at www.ofcom.org.uk for more details.

 

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Revised: October 02, 2003