dabLeaders of the UK’s commercial radio industry are calling on the Government to declare when analogue radio signals might be switched off. Andrew Harrison, chief executive of commercial radio trade body the RadioCentre, told The Times that a failure to decide radio’s future was “crippling the industry”. Harrison said the RadioCentre was lobbying ministers over the issue. Radio chiefs say car manufacturers will only take digital radio seriously when a plan for switchover is drawn up.

“With around a quarter of people listening to the radio in their cars, motor manufacturers are key to the future of digital radio,” said Harrison, who wants a working party comprising the Department for Culture Media and Sport, media regulator Ofcom, the BBC and commercial radio groups to be set up to discuss the issue.

Last week audience research data released by official radio ratings body Rajar showed digital radio continuing to grow in terms of reach, hours and platform share. Rajar found that 28.4% of adults listened to digital radio each week in the third quarter of 2007. That was up from 26.2% in June. The lion’s share of that was DAB listening at 15.3% of all adults, up from 13.3% in June.

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By Expat