As expected, British ministers will bow to pressure from broadcasters and alter media legislation to relax further the rules governing the radio sector.
Under the draft Communications Bill unveiled earlier this year, it was proposed to impose a minimum of three commercial broadcasters as well as the publicly funded BBC in any area.
However, this suggestion – known as the ‘three plus one’ rule – ran into a barrage of protest from operators such as Capital Radio and GWR, which argued radio would be more strictly regulated than any other medium.
Rumours that the bill would be changed to enforce a more relaxed ‘two plus one’ rule emerged last month [WAMN: 31-Oct-02], and it is now reported that trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt has decided to pursue this option.
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff