UK media and telecoms regulator Ofcom on Thursday announced its decisions on the future regulation of Britain's commercial radio sector.

The new requirements were aired in Ofcom's Radio Review consultation which closed January 11.

According to the watchdog's director of radio and multimedia Peter Davies: "The changes reflect Ofcom's move towards a greater focus on output regulation, concentrating on what the listener actually hears as opposed to how programmes are produced."

Among the new requirements explained in the Preparing for the Future statement are ...

  • The procedure for handling Format change requests for analogue local commercial radio services;

  • Ofcom's approach to regulation output and the establishment of a Public File reporting each station's activities;

  • A requirement that broadcasters follow Localness Guidelines, setting out guidance on how stations can best deliver local elements of their output;

  • The next steps regarding the removal of restrictions on daytime automation on stations, news hub arrangements and the location of studios within licensed areas.
The process to change station Formats will begin shortly and Public Files should be in place by June.

Meantime, for full details of the Statement and Localness Guidelines click on either of the following links: Statement and Localness Guidelines.

Data sourced from Ofcom (UK); additional content by WARC staff