Radio body appoints first political analyst

The Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA) has appointed a political analyst for the first time in its 26-year history.

Nick Irvine will take up her post on February 1. She is presently a research fellow with the left-leaning think-tank, the Institute of Public Policy Research.

The CRCA represents commercial radio in negotiations with government, trade unions, copyright organisations, and other bodies.

Irvine will report to CRCA chief executive Paul Brown.

Brown says: “The Government will be formulating its next White Paper on broadcasting in a couple of years. We want to be represented at the highest possible level.”

Irvine comments: “Making sure that radio’s national and local digital strategy is co-ordinated is one of the first things that I will work on.”

In a separate move, sources close to the CRCA say that – for the first time in the trade body’s history – it will not appoint a senior industry figure as chairman. The outgoing chairman is EMAP Radio chief executive Tim Schoonmaker, who spent two years in the role.

Instead, chief executive officer Paul Brown is tipped to take up the post, in addition to his current responsibilities.

A source close to the CRCA says: “All the main radio groups are represented on the CRCA board. They now feel they want a chairman who is independent of them all.”

The ten-strong CRCA board – which represents Capital, GWR Group and Virgin – will meet on January 21 to choose a new chairman.

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