Radio groups argue for more relaxation by new Comms Bill

The UK's largest commercial radio groups are to hold talks with the culture secretary, Tessa Jowell, in a bid to push for further deregulation of the radio market.

Representatives of groups such as Capital and Chrysalis, grouped in a joint initiative by the Commercial Radio Companies Association, will meet with Jowell on 30 October.

The draft Communications Bill proposes some liberalisation of radio ownership rules, but each area in the UK would still be required to have three competing commercial radio stations. Radio companies are pushing for this to be lowered to two, plus a BBC station.

Companies are concerned the Bill, due to become law next year, allows for greater deregulation of markets such as TV and newspapers, which command a greater share of advertising revenues. They argue that the "two plus one" formula would lead to stronger programming and the ability to compete with other media.