Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has unveiled plans to reform local cross-media ownership rules, in a bid to create locally-based television stations.
Cross-media ownership laws restrict the number of television stations or newspapers one company can own, but Hunt said today he was calling on media regulator Ofcom to look at whether they could be removed completely at a local level.
He also revealed that he had appointed Nicholas Shott, head of UK investment banking at Lazard, to conduct an independent commercial assessment of local television over the summer.
Following this assessment, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will set out a local media action plan, due to be published in the autumn.
“The government believes in localism and the enormous benefits of fostering local cultural, economic and political identities,” he said.
The culture secretary added that he wanted “a modern regulatory environment which will help nurture a new generation of hungry, ambitious and profitable local media companies”.