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RadioCentre calls for Ofcom to act

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Commercial radio body the RadioCentre has called for an immediate start to deregulation, one of the measures it outlines in its response to Ofcom's Future of Radio consultation.

Following its Big Listen online poll last month, which 10,000 radio listeners took part in, the organisation has compiled a three-point plan on what it think Ofcom should do help the industry.

As well as deregulation, the RadioCentre is looking for a new self-regulatory approach and a more precise road map for radio's journey towards digital.

Chief executive of the RadioCentre, Andrew Harrison praised Ofcom's consultation paper on the Future of Radio, but said changes needed to be made now rather than when digital radio listeners targets have been met.

He said "Many of the areas require change to legislation and this unnecessarily hampers Ofcom's ability to regulate radio flexibly in the light of changing market circumstances. We recommend that future legislation should give Ofcom greater discretion within the context of policy goals established by Parliament."

The online poll also showed that listeners were not overly concerned about quotas for locally-produced programming, and so the RadioCentre has called for a focus on the provision of local material.

The body has also put forward the idea of the creation of a cross-industry working group, led by Ofcom, to plan when and how the radio industry should become fully or mainly digitised.

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