RadioCentre urges Ofcom and government to allow greater flexibility on local content

LONDON - RadioCentre, the industry body for commercial radio, has called on Ofcom and the Government to offer greater flexibility to stations on how and where they produce local content.

Andrew Harrison: chief executive of RadioCentre
Andrew Harrison: chief executive of RadioCentre

In its submission to Ofcom's review of local radio rules, a consultation launched in July called "The implications of Digital Britain for localness regulation", RadioCentre said such changes are vital for smaller stations. It argues these stations need greater freedom to reorganise their operations.

The RadioCentre urged Ofcom to quickly implement some of the changes it is proposing. These include enabling stations to focus on content that is most valued by listeners, such as local news and information, in return for a reduction in the quota of locally produced hours they are required to produce for other content. 

RadioCentre also supports Ofcom's plan to offer greater flexibility for stations to co-locate or share programming in new local regions.

In a submission that warns the radio industry requires "significant regulatory changes", it supports Ofcom plans to overhaul media ownership.

In July, Ofcom proposed the removal of all local radio ownership rules and liberalisation of rules around ownership of different media in a single area.

Andrew Harrison, chief executive, RadioCentre, said the Ofcom consultation is "an important opportunity to reduce the regulatory burden on the sector at an extremely challenging time". 

The Ofcom consultation closes today (23 October). Any changes arising from the review is subject to Parliament passing relevant legislation.

Separately, Ofcom is running a consultation, Media Ownership Rules Review, which closed on 17 September. Ofcom plans to present its final recommendations to the Government by 13 November.

 

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