Ofcom’s plan for 2024 includes monitoring impact on BBC local radio changes

Ofcom will continue to monitor the impact on audiences in England caused by the changes to BBC local radio as part of its big plan for 2024/25.

The regulator has published a document outlining what it intends to do over the next two years, and gives a small mention to its role in regulating BBC Locals.

Ofcom has received criticism from industry commentators for not intervening in the mass presenter redundancies which took place across local radio in England this year, and the BBC’s plan to network more programmes.

However, Ofcom says it was not kept fully informed on the changes in a letter to the BBC almost a year ago.

In addition, new localness guidelines will be consulted on once the Media Bill becomes law, which will implement a new regime for regulating local news provision on analogue commercial radio.

Small-scale DAB multiplexes will continue to be licenced across the UK, with all of the main Round 5 awards expected to be announced together in the new year.

Ofcom will also carry out a Local Media Review starting Q3 2024: “We will undertake a wide-ranging review of the local media sector in the UK, covering print, radio, television, and online platforms. We will publish the findings of our research on what audiences need and want from local media and set out how these needs are being met across the nations and regions of the UK.”