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Independent radio is thriving despite declining advertising revenues according to Independent Broadcasters of Ireland Chairman Scott Williams who was commenting today on the publication of the JNLR listenership figures.

The figures show the strength of independent radio in Ireland with 69% or 2.422 million people listening in every day. This is despite diminishing advertising revenues placing significant strain on independent stations.

Scott Williams urged the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), which is currently looking at the relicensing process, to consider the strength of the listenership to independent radio

“I’d like the Authority to really listen to independent radio as it goes through the relicensing process. Independent radio is at the heart of every community in Ireland with more than 1500 people employed in the sector. Today’s JNLR figures show an increased weekday primetime market share to an impressive 66.9%. Listeners are voting with their ears. More than two out of every three minutes listening in Ireland is to independent stations because our local, regional and national radio stations across the country are providing a service listeners clearly want.”

Mr Williams added that: “This confirms that Ireland is adequately served by the radio stations currently broadcasting and would suggest that this position remain stable. One of the primary determinants in the awarding of a radio licence should be the track record of an applicant and an increase in the weighting for existing operators should be introduced in light of ongoing economic circumstances.”

Mr Williams also called for certainty in respect of the process to be adopted by the Broadcasting Authority.“The track record of an applicant will be a key determinant for the BAI and we suggest that it should become the primary determinant”.