Wednesday, December 12, 2007

GCap to government: Switch off FM, or the kittens get it

Okay, maybe Ralph Bernard, outgoing head of GCap, isn't threatening to kill kittens, but he has announced that GCap is considering pulling the plug on all its digital radio stations:

Speaking at a MediaTel Future of Radio event, Bernard criticised regulator Ofcom for not setting a date for the switch-off of analogue radio, claiming that the delay was costing stations million of pounds.

"At GCap, we are seriously considering whether to continue with our digital stations," he said. "It costs us £8 million a year to run an analogue station, while it costs us £15 million to run a digital station. Where's the logic in that? It can't be sustained.
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"We don't want a hard and fast switch-off date, just a target date."

Bernard also moaned about the awarding of a digital multiplex to Channel 4, suggesting that "flooding supply" would set digital radio back ten years. On the other hand, limited bandwidth has just given us a bunch of under-funded, soundalike Top 40 and gold stations, so perhaps it's worth a try, eh?