Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Second Report

11.  Memorandum submitted by the Commercial Radio Companies Association

  I write on behalf of the Commercial Radio Companies Association, the trade body for UK commercial radio representing 189 commercial stations broadcasting in the UK today. They claim over 50 per cent of all radio listening in the UK.

  The Board of the CRCA read with interest the press notice (number 19 1997-98) on broadcasting in Wales and the National Assembly. It has asked me to write as follows. CRCA has consulted its Welsh radio members. These are The Wave, Swansea Sound, The Marcher Group, Radio Maldwyn Limited and Capital Radio plc which owns Red Dragon and Touch.

  The National Assembly will naturally merit coverage on both Welsh and other UK radio stations. The business of the Assembly is likely to be covered more closely by Welsh stations because of the interests of their listeners. Elections for the Assembly will be covered in the same impartial manner adopted by UK commercial stations over the years.

  We do not believe that the Assembly should have a role in scrutinising broadcasting in Wales which extends beyond the arms length relationship that exists between Parliament and broadcasters at the moment.

  We note that your press notice only mentions television. Digital radio is in process of development at the moment and it seems likely that digital radio multiplexes serving Wales will experience greater difficulties in paying their way than in some other parts of the UK where populations are denser, advertising revenues therefore higher and where topographical difficulties are not so great. The costs of digital radio coverage will be met by the broadcasters concerned which will have an adverse effect on profits which are already limited.

Paul Brown

Chief Executive

29 September 1998

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