Media ownership rules could be relaxed

Rules on local media ownership could be relaxed to help news providers struggling with the recession under proposals published today by Ofcom.

Current rules prevent one company from owning more than one type of media - newspaper, radio station or TV channel - in a particular area.

Ofcom said that in the interests of maintaining a range of regional news sources, no company should be allowed to own a local paper with more than 50 per cent market share, a radio station and the ITV licence in an area, but a combination of two of these would be acceptable.

The watchdog is to hold a consultation on this proposal and on removing rules on local radio ownership so that one company could run all the commercial stations in a given area.

Research showed that listeners were happy for this to happen as long as the BBC continued to provide an alternative source of local news, Ofcom said.

The regulator's review comes after communications minister Lord Carter recommended local media ownership rules be changed in his Digital Britain report.

Despite the growth of the internet, traditional media retains its importance, with TV the main source of local news for 49 per cent of people surveyed by Ofcom, newspapers for 24 per cent and radio for 12 per cent.



Ofcom said action was needed to help broadcasters and newspapers struggling with financial pressures caused by dwindling advertising income and increasingly fragmented audiences.

Today's paper said: "Commercial radio has been particularly hard hit by falling advertising revenues and yet audiences continue to value local commercial stations for their local programming.

"The central challenge for regulation is to secure the delivery of local radio content, while at the same time ensuring a viable commercial sector able to adapt to the digital world."

A second consultation will consider proposals for creating a new three-tier structure to radio, with regional stations allowed to share programming in return for providing a version of themselves on the national digital radio network - effectively creating new national radio stations.

Local stations could be allowed to share programming in return for a greater commitment to news during the day, and Ofcom said it hoped a new tier of ultra-local community radio stations would develop in the future.

"These proposals are broadly deregulatory, and are aimed at sustaining delivery of local content, increasing choice and diversity of radio services, and ensuring an economically robust commercial sector," Ofcom said.



The consultation on cross-media ownership will close in September and the one on restructuring radio in October, with Ofcom due to make its final recommendations to the Government in November.

Any change to the ownership rules would require a change in the law.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Sport
Moeen Ali wearing the 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' wristbands on his left arm
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tv
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Battle of the Five Armies trailer released
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Extras
indybest
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Advertising and Marketing Communications Manager

£52000 - £58000 per annum + benefits, company car: Ashdown Group: Advertising ...

Graduate Content Marketing Executive / Social Media Executive

Internship / Travel & Expenses Paid: Guru Careers: An ambitious and adaptable ...

Email Campaign Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

£20 - 24k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a passionate and motivated Email Campa...

Retail Promotions Manager – TV and Film Catalogue

Up to £171 PAYE per day (equal to 40 – 45K ) : Sauce Recruitment: This is a te...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on