Radio ownership rules are creating unnecessary barriers to consolidation, an industry panel told the House of Lords (February 27). The comments were made as to the Lords Select Communities on Communications as part of the ongoing inquiry into Media Ownership and the News.
The panel included RadioCentre chief executive Andrew Harrison (pictured), Mark Story, managing director of radio programming at Bauer Radio, and Daniel Bruce, regional news editor at CN Radio.
The group argued that ownership rules should be removed because it is “unfair for radio to be singled out for mono-sector ownership rules” which press and TV are not subject to. It also argues that the changes in the media landscape, such as cross-platform delivery, means that ownership rules should be decided on a cross-media basis.
Harrison says: “We welcome this opportunity ahead of new legislation to explain why the existing approach to radio ownership is outdated and counter-productive. Digital media have transformed the way in which news is produced and consumed, making mono-sector approaches to securing plurality unnecessary. In fact the current restriction are stifling local news provision for listeners and holding back the economic health of our sector.”