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
Sophie Hind, the sales and marketing director at Liberty Radio, said:
’We would welcome further talks with the Radio Authority.’