Ofcom Loosens U.K. Commercial Radio Regulation
April 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM (PT)
U.K. radio regulator OFCOM has loosened regulations on commercial radio by allowing stations to reduce local programming by three hours per day in exchange for maintaining weekday news reports. Local stations will also be allowed to co-locate and share programming starting in JUNE, and "large regional analogue stations" will be permitted to drop regional programming if they create national versions of themselves for DAB. AM stations will be able to drop all local programming as long as they maintain the current requirement of 10 hours per weekday (other than morning drive) produced within their home nation, and DAB local and regional multiplexes will be allowed to apply for changes to their service area.
"New provisions in the Digital Economy Act 2010 allow OFCOM to take a number of steps to ease these pressures and enable stations to make necessary cost savings," the agency announced THURSDAY. "The aim is to create a sustainable future, where stations continue to deliver services that listeners value. The measures will still ensure that local stations stay local -- providing the locally focused content listeners want and which is protected by the legislation governing radio -- but in a more flexible way."