Ofcom: Location is the 'bedrock' for local radio listeners
Speaking at the Cambridge Radio Festival, the Ofcom chief executive said the it had already proposed reducing the amount of local content stations were required to produce, and would look to reduce it for smaller stations.
Richards said that while some in the industry had called for further relaxation of such rules, research it conducted recently indicated that local travel and news reports were "indispensable" to listeners radio experience in local radio.
He pointed to the recent coverage of flooding in places like Hull, and the terrorist attack at Glasgow Airport as examples of "localness" in reporting in action.
Richards said the research showed that listeners believed the "quality would suffer if [such content] was not made and produced by local people."
"They see a local presentation as a bedrock to local content," he added.