Digital radio – latest

I recently reported feedback from Digital Radio UK recently about my concerns regarding proposed the digital radio switchover.

I have been speaking with Adam Findlay, Managing Director of Wave 102 in Dundee (and Original 106 in the Grampian region) and Adam has responded to Digital Radio UK as follows :

Councillor Macpherson has passed me your correspondence for a response.

The views you express are not those of the industry and it is a concern to see correspondence of this nature be so freely released purporting to be a ‘cross sector’ set of views when they are not. You are a campaign group funded by a select few in the UK who stand to commercially gain to the detriment of others in the sector.

Firstly, and somewhat confusingly you use the term digital as opposed DAB – DAB is one of the many digital platforms available to radio. If Digital Radio UK is more than DAB it is imperative it makes it’s true remit clear beyond DAB and shows balance in the true digital debate as opposed just the DAB debate.

Secondly, your correspondence fails to mention or address any of the key barriers to DAB ( NOT DIGITAL) for the hundreds of local radio stations (like Wave 102) in this ….’upgrade’ process. Councillor Macpherson’s concerns have not been addressed in your response – and I would pose the question again more plainly – at what cost specifically does Digital Radio UK put forward as a solution to Wave 102 to gain access to the DAB multiplex in the Tayside area.

Both stations I represent cannot afford the fees being commanded by the mux owners! As you know there are hundreds of radio stations in the same position across the UK.

And what would this answer be to SIBC, Central FM, Kingdom FM and so the list goes on…all unanswered yet forced down this route and into uncertainty .

Thirdly, you mention a switchover date only taking place when the majority of listening is on digital (I think you mean DAB) which by definition means a minority ‘could’ be left without access to radio services if some stations left FM altogether – so Councillor Macpherson is correct! For example in Dundee Tay FM could migrate to DAB entirely leaving FM and unless you have a DAB radio you will not be able to receive Tay FM any more. Tay AM would be upgraded to FM – but that is a different radio station, not Tay FM.

BAUER RADIO, GLOBAL RADIO AND GUARDIAN RADIO do not represent the vast majority of the views of the sector, owning lots of radio stations does not mean you have more rights to a bigger view or indeed the correct one.