GCap fears loss of Classic FM

LONDON - GCap Media is concerned that it could lose its valuable Classic FM licence, which expires in 2011, because Ofcom plans to auction the licence rather than renew it as it has done previously.

GCap fears loss of Classic FM
GCap fears loss of Classic FM

Under current radio licensing laws, any interested party could bid for the national FM licence and gain control of it. Commonly referred to as the jewel in GCap's crown, the loss of the Classic FM licence would be a considerable blow to its parent company.

Although Ofcom awards radio licences, any changes to the manner in which the license is awarded would require a change to legislation, directed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
A DCMS spokesman said: "We are aware of GCap's concerns in this area, but at the moment we have no plans to amend existing licensing laws."

Media Week understands the prospect of losing Classic FM in a cash auction is a key priority for GCap chief executive, Ashley Tabor.

When the licence was last renewed in 1999 by Ofcom predecessor the Radio Authority, it was done so without a cash auction.

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