Five Down – 45 To Go 

17 April 2009 tbs.pm/1042

Fifty radio stations “could close” apparently.

Well so far this year alone, we’re on five, following the closure of Pennine FM in Huddersfield just yesterday.

Radio Today’s list of closures make grim reading. Time 106.8 and South London Radio, both in concentrating on suburbs in London (which has to be one of the most competitive radio markets in the country, went just a few weeks ago. South Cumbria’s Abbey FM went off January. All victims of a lack of revenue.

The one exception we shouldn’t cry too much about is Mersey 106.7 – the station formerly known as KCR-FM, who recently had their licence revoked by Ofcom – the first time such a thing had happened.

All the stations were small scale. Bar Abbey FM, which was part owned by The Local Radio Company, none of the stations were owned by large media groups. There was no money in the pot, and even fewer listeners.

Small scale local radio has been seen by many as the radio dream – serving local communities far better than larger stations do. And there’s no denying that radio is relatively cheap to broadcast. Unfortunately it’s not cheap enough given the limited advertising market and even smaller audiences.