Real Radio offers concessions to plurality concerns on Global deal

Real and Smooth Limited has offered to provide more regional and local news in north and mid Wales to prevent its merger with Global Radio from being referred to the Competition Commission on plurality grounds.

Maria Miller: secretary of state for culture, media and sport
Maria Miller: secretary of state for culture, media and sport

Real and Smooth has offered a range of provisions,including basing a Welsh political editor at the Welsh Assembly and providing 20-minute news shows on workdays, to allay plurality concerns about news provision in north and mid Wales

It is understood that in its application of the public interest test of the merger, broadcasting regulator Ofcom highlighted Wales as the only region where it was concerned about the deal affecting plurality.

A spokesman for Ofcom declined to comment on its report on the merger.

The proposed changes suggest Global Radio’s rival Bauer Media has failed in its attempt to get Ofcom to consider plurality issues in a range of regions and to widen the scope of the review beyond news.

Maria Miller, the new culture secretary, will now have to decide whether to accept these undertakings, whether to reject them and refer the deal to the CC on plurality grounds or whether she feels there are no plurality issues.

Whatever Miller decides on plurality the deal is unlikely to escape further investigation as sources expect the OFT’s report to have referred the merger to the CC on competition grounds, as Global Radio requested it to shortly after the deal was announced.

Ofcom and the OFT provided their reports to Miller last Friday (28 September) and it is understood that best practice guidelines suggest an announcement should be made within 10 working days.

Industry sources expect a decision by Friday next week, following the Conservative Party conference.

After Global Radio bought the assets formerly known as GMG Radio in July the then culture secretary Jeremy Hunt intervened in the deal and asked Ofcom to look into the plurality issues it raised.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

'Customers will pay for digital content' as subscribers reach 225,000, says The Sun editor

'Customers will pay for digital content' as subscribers reach 225,000, says The Sun editor

The Sun, News UK's tabloid, has reported its number of digital subscribers has more than doubled to almost 250,000, less than 15 months after erecting a paywall around its content.

Share
7Up kicks off global campaign with urban knitting ad

7Up kicks off global campaign with urban knitting ad

7Up Free, the sugar free lemon and lime fizzy drink owned by PepsiCo, is launching a global campaign featuring people with quirky interests, like urban knitting.

Share
Financial Times promotes Jon Slade to MD of B2C products

Financial Times promotes Jon Slade to MD of B2C products

The Financial Times has internally announced commercial director Jon Slade will become managing director of its business to consumer operations.

Share

Get news by email