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Northwest radio welcomes Ahern's concern, but wants stronger action

Chief executive of North West Radio, Paul Claffey, has said that Minister for Communications Dermot Ahern's expressed concern about the "transparency" and "fairness" of the current local radio licensing system, as operated by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, is welcome but does not go far enough.

Chief executive of North West Radio, Paul Claffey, has said that Minister for Communications Dermot Ahern's expressed concern about the "transparency" and "fairness" of the current local radio licensing system, as operated by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, is welcome but does not go far enough.

He said: "The blatant injustice of the BCI to North West Radio, and in particular to its listenership catchment of Sligo/North Leitrim and South Donegal, demands stronger action from the Minister and from the Government in general".

Claffey said that North West Radio consistently ranked among the top three local stations nationally, according to the official JNLR listenership figures.

He also pointed out that it was voted "Local Station of the Year" last year in a competition jointly sponsored by the Phonographic Performance Ireland and the BCI.

He described the Minister's proposed fundamental review of the local radio licensing system as poor consolation to the staff of North West Radio and its listeners, who, he said, were insulted by the decision of the BCI to award the local radio licence to Ocean FM last year.

Mr Claffey described the decision as so blatantly unjust that the Minister must do more than promise future reforms.

He also said he was writing to Mr Ahern seeking a meeting to convey the outrage of the people and the staff at the station to him first hand.

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