A new watchdog for TV and radio programmes in Ireland will begin work in early 2009, it emerged today.
A Broadcasting Authority of Ireland will replace the current Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) on March 31.
The Government has approved the re-appointment of the current chairman and members of the BCI for the short period until the changeover.
The five-year term of the chairman and board of the BCI was due to expire on December 1.
However the Broadcasting Act (2008), which provides for the establishment of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, would not become law before that date.
The BCI was set up by Arts Minister Sile de Valera in September 2001.
It issues licenses for independent broadcasters including new providers of digital, cable, MMDS and satellite systems.
It also develops codes and rules in relation to programming and advertising standards.