Memorandum submitted by Andrew Pitt
I have some comments specifically regarding
the reform of radio ownership laws in the new Communications Bill,
the following links relate to the consequences on the market when
ownership laws were dramatically relaxed in the US in 1996:
The reforms have basically lead to a oligopoly
situation, the shift in the balance of power in relation to record
companies, advertisers and listeners has been dramatic. From a
listeners point of view it had lead to less choice, huge centralisation
and automation leading to the loss of any local programming or
current affairs, more adverts, and unimaginative play-lists where
new songs are added on a "cash for access" basis. From
an industry point of view, the cost cutting has also impacted
on 10,000 radio related jobs in the US.
It would be extremely sad to see this situation
replicated in the UK, I would ask you to exercise prudence when
you consider the radio ownership provisions, please do not let
them slip in an inconsequential secondary concern like what happened
in the US with the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
As a young person I will have to live with the
outcome of the Communications Bill for many years to come.