HC Deb 14 November 2002 vol 394 cc3-4WS
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Tessa Jowell)

After public consultation on the proposed radio ownership scheme, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and I have agreed that the policy of local radio ownership should ensure that in every local market with a reasonable range of services (three or more analogue stations) there should be at least two commercial radio operators and at least three commercial media voices across local and regional radio, television and newspapers.

For radio-only operators, maximum ownership will be limited to 55 per cent. of a market, as defined by a points system. For significant cross-media owners (either the relevant regional Channel 3 licensee or a local newspaper owner with more than 50 per cent. in the market in the coverage area of a radio station) there will be a stricter limit of 45 per cent. for analogue service, although this will only be applied in areas where there are three or more overlapping licences. No one will be allowed to own a local radio licence if they own both the relevant regional Channel 3 licence and more than 50 per cent. of the local newspaper market in the coverage are of the radio station.

The necessary rules would be introduced by order once the Communications Bill is enacted and a draft order would then be published alongside the Bill.