Radio Authority to talk with Liberty over coverage gripe

The Radio Authority has called for a meeting with Liberty Broadcasting in a bid to thrash out ’realistic proposals’ that would solve the current dispute over the coverage of 963 Liberty Radio.

The Radio Authority has called for a meeting with Liberty

Broadcasting in a bid to thrash out ’realistic proposals’ that would

solve the current dispute over the coverage of 963 Liberty Radio.



Liberty’s owner, Mohamed Al-Fayed, last week threatened to shut down the

radio station unless the Radio Authority permits him to use more

powerful transmitters, or a more attractive frequency, to help Liberty

boost its ratings.



The clash was triggered by a letter from the Radio Authority’s chief

executive, Tony Stoller, which appeared to rule out any concessions.



While deploring Liberty’s attempts to use an ’orchestrated media

campaign’ to apply leverage, the Radio Authority this week appeared

willing to discuss ways of improving Liberty’s coverage, although it

declined to comment on the likelihood of any concrete changes.



In a prepared statement, the Radio Authority said: ’This licence was

originally awarded for the 963 AM frequency and Liberty was fully aware

of its coverage limitations when it purchased the licence. The Radio

Authority has already given Liberty a great deal of help, for example

using a ’fast-track’ procedure to improve coverage by making possible a

second transmitter on the same frequency in East London.’



The statement continued: ’We had already agreed to a further meeting

with Liberty and are happy to discuss realistic proposals with

them.’



Sophie Hind, the sales and marketing director at Liberty Radio, said:

’We would welcome further talks with the Radio Authority.’



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