UK Radio Groups Switched Off by Digital Radio Switchover

12 July 2004

As culture, media and sport secretary Tessa Jowell prepares to review the UK government's date for switching off the analogue radio signal [WAMN: 09-Jul-04], top radio groups have responded negatively to the idea.

With digital radios now outselling their analogue counterparts, Jowell has suggested the phasing out of analogue sets, although her department thinks it "extremely unlikely" the review will extend as far as announcing a switchoff date.

Dee Ford, managing director of Emap Performance Radio (owners of Magic FM and many local stations), fails to "see an urgency for a timetable for analogue switchoff".

The BBC also envisages the switchoff date as a "long way" hence. Its radio music interactive controller Simon Nelson explains the impracticalities of such a move as "more complex than TV" with "many more legacy sets and the transfer of hundreds of smaller stations."

Others take a more favourable view. Capital Radio (London's local station) welcomes the idea, calling digital radio the "broadcasting medium of the future."

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff