Radiocentre has welcomed confirmation from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) that it plans to make changes to relax commercial radio regulation.
The announcement came as part of the Government’s long-awaited response to its commercial radio deregulation consultation which closed in May 2017.
The statement (available in full here) provides an overview of the responses received by the Government and highlights the intention to push ahead with the specific proposals set out in the consultation. Key points raised in the response are that:
- it confirms the intention to remove local production requirements
- it agrees that remaining music formats should be removed
- it recognises that having different requirements for the Nations could disadvantage these stations
- it acknowledges support for continuing local news requirements, but delays the question of exactly how to secure this on DAB stations in future
- it proposes only limited licensing of international radio services in the UK (starting with Republic of Ireland).
Earlier this year Radiocentre submitted a response to the consultation (here) on behalf of the commercial radio industry. Radiocentre will now work with DCMS on the new structure and with Ofcom on introducing changes to existing rules and guidance that can be made in the meantime.
CEO Siobhan Kenny said “Radiocentre welcomes the Government’s plans for deregulation of the pre-internet age rules that govern commercial radio. The new rules will give stations greater flexibility in how they operate, unlocking the potential of commercial radio and giving listeners even more choice from their favourite radio brands. We now look forward to the Government enacting these sensible changes at the earliest opportunity.”
Mims Davies MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Commercial Radio, said “It is great news that the Government has published its response to the commercial radio deregulation consultation. I agree with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport that deregulation is a necessary and positive step for the industry. I look forward to working with the APPG to ensure that legislation is introduced as soon as possible to support our local stations and ensure they continue to build on their current successes. This is a really important industry and I am pleased the Government is giving it the support it needs.”
Click here to read a comment piece on the deregulation statement from radio veteran David Lloyd.