THE chief executive of media research firm Enders Analysis is calling on the UK government to relax the competition rules to allow media companies to diversify and survive, according to Press Gazette.
Claire Enders predicts "catastrophic" results if something is not done. In five years, a third of the country's newspapers, two national newspapers and half the jobs of the regional media will be gone.
The local press will have "substantially" declined by 2013, Enders said at a Westminster Media Forum conference. They have been facing the brunt of the economic crisis, and experiencing the worst setbacks with investors as "everybody's been trying to get out of the local press."
Regional newspaper titles, which "keep communities alive," are currently closing at a rate of 10-15 a week, Enders said.
Although closures will most likely continue, Enders said, the way to ensure that titles would survive is permitting cross-media ownership, which the UK government currently forbids. If newspaper groups were allowed to buy each other, print, TV and radio companies would be "diversified further," Enders said.
Removing the barriers to consolidation "is the only way to keep those jobs alive," Enders said.
Source: Press Gazette