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No More 4

As crisis talks are underway amongst the partners of the Digital Radio consortium over the future of the second national digital multiplex, I am still shocked that 4radio will no longer pay part in its future.

Andy Duncan’s announcement last week that the 4radio project billed to bring Channel 4’s “risk taking approach to TV and radio” was cancelled was a massive surprise. The proposed three new stations, sounded fresh and innovative and would have provided stiff competition for the dominant BBC. 

The decision is quite clearly a real blow for the growth of DAB. Although sales have seen steady growth with 800, 000 being sold in the two months of last year, future is less certain.

The decision is being blamed on the economic downturn, but I can’t help but wonder whether there is a bigger issue to be explored.

The 4radio model appeared across the rest of the Channel 4 network to be very strong with many shows being linked to the stations growing radio medium and for the rug to be swiftly pulled out from underneath all that is something of a concern.

Further details will no doubt emerge of the coming days and weeks, but in a period where media downsizing is prominent 4radio is not just another sad casualty to fall foul to media cut backs – it is a revolutionary move which just like it planned to do – will transform the future of radio.

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