BAI must ensure jobs are protected and programming maintained with Comunicorp sale to Bauer

25th February 2021 - Ciaran Cannon TD

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland must ensure jobs are protected and programming is maintained following the sale of Communicorp media to Bauer, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Deputy Ciaran Cannon said the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland must step in and ensure that the licencing conditions agreed to by Communicorp are maintained.

Deputy Cannon, Fine Gael’s Spokesperson on Media, Arts & Culture, said, “The deal, which is subject to regularly approval, will see German company Bauer Media Audio enter the Irish market for the first time.

“While any investment in Irish media is welcome, Fine Gael is calling on the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland to ensure Communicorp’s broadcasting contract is complied with.

“Contractors must seek prior approval of the Authority for any changes to the terms of contract and key contractual areas include the ownership and control and programming commitments schedules.

“The BAI must ensure that radio listeners continue to have access to a diverse range of services, programming and voices that meets their needs.

“Communicorp currently employs over 1,000 staff and consists of commercial radio stations Today FM and Newstalk, alongside local stations Spin 1038 and 98FM in Dublin, and Spin Southwest.

“I would also call on Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, to do all in her power to ensure that jobs are protected through the regulatory approval process.

“Another issue is the current ban of Irish Times journalists from Communicorp stations. I would hope that the proposed sale brings with it change and that this ban is lifted so there is no threat or suppression of free speech. I believe the BAI has a role to play to ensure such an action is never repeated,” Deputy Cannon concluded.

 

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