dabChannel 4 has scrapped plans to launch three national digital radio services and will close its radio division entirely, it was confirmed today.
Up to 15 jobs at the channel will go as a result of the decision, which will save Channel 4 £10m next year and contribute to a group-wide cost cut of £100m.

As a member of the 4 Digital consortium, the channel had pledged to challenge what it characterised as the BBC’s dominance of speech radio with Channel 4 Radio. E4 Radio and Pure 4 would have complemented the main speech service along with stations also offered from Channel 4’s partners including UTV, Sky and Bauer. Channel 4 now plans to withdraw entirely from the joint venture, which had been awarded a 12 year licence to operate a second national digital radio multiplex.

“We’ve taken this decision very reluctantly,” said Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan. “We’ve pursued our radio plans in good faith and continue to believe DAB has a strong future and that we could make a return from radio in the medium term. Frustratingly, our plans have been overtaken by a drastic recent downturn in our revenues and we will have to forgo this future profit stream. We can no longer afford the short-term investment necessary given that we are having to cut so deeply across all parts of the organisation.”

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By Expat