Carter set to ease local ownership rules

Ownership rules for local media are expected to be relaxed in a move aimed at helping struggling regional newspaper groups. It is thought the Digital Britain report, due later this month, will recommend consolidation in a bid to save jobs.

It has been reported that Lord Carter’s report will recommend allowing newspaper groups to acquire local TV and radio stations. The current media ownership rules aim to prevent or limit consolidation within markets to stop one company having too much power in a local area.

Regional newspapers have been hard hit by the onset of the recession with declining advertising revenues, leading several groups to make job cuts towards the end of 2008.

Newspaper groups have been lobbying the Government to relax the rules and the House of Lords has proposed easing ownership restrictions.

Carter, the former managing director of JWT and chief executive of Ofcom, was given a peerage and appointed minister for communications, technology and broadcasting in October after a spell as Gordon Brown’s chief of staff.

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