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Title: Commercial radio in Britain before the 1990's : an investigation of the relationship between programming and regulation
Author: Wray, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 2691 0520
Awarding Body: Bournemouth University
Current Institution: Bournemouth University
Date of Award: 2009
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Today's British commercial radio environment consists of over three hundred local, regional and national radio stations. Many operate a concentrated music format, designed to meet the demands of a defined target audience. This is in contrast to the commercial radio model in existence between 1973 and 1990, where local stations were required, as part oftheir contract, to broadcast speech-based programming, in addition to music, to a wider audience profile. One reason for speech programming on commercial stations was the strict regulation laid down by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA). Regulatory policy coupled with societal and political changes had a major influence on the creation of programme output from 1973, when commercial radio was established, until new broadcast legislation was passed which transformed the business model under the Broadcasting Act 1990. Programme content was constrained by the regulator's demands for what they referred to as 'meaningful speech' and the stations' desire to be more commercial in line with the demands of the audience. The intention ofthis research project is to explore the impact of regulation upon the commercial radio programming model between 1983-85, and to uncover why this period was pivotal in bringing about change within the regulatory framework. This examination will be carried out by drawing on IBA policy papers, media reports and personal accounts from interviews with key radio station personnel, such as broadcasters, station producers, managers and regulation staff The project draws on original sources of both primary and secondary data, including information held in the archives of the current radio regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), who has granted unlimited access to previously unseen confidential archives. This provides an exclusive data source allowing the research to make an original contribution to broadcasting history, which is pertinent given the current debate on deregulation within UK commercial radio.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Communication, Cultural and Media Studies