LONDON, July 31 Britain's media regulator Ofcom
has proposed relaxing the rules around ownership of local media
to support small groups hit by the advertising downturn and
competition from the Internet.
All media groups have suffered during the economic downturn
but Ofcom said the pressures were most acute in the local media
Under the new proposals, all local commercial radio stations
could be owned by one operator in a local area, alongside the
local radio service from the BBC.
Ofcom is also looking at changes to allow some regional
stations to share programming in return for making the services
available on digital radio.
The regulator could also liberalise the local cross media
ownership rules between local newspapers, local radio station
and the regional television, however the ownership of all three
in one area would still be prevented.
Ofcom will now consult on the proposals before sending their
recommendations to the secretary of state in November.
(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Hans Peters)