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January 21, 1988|DEBORAH CAULFIELD and RICK SHERWOOD | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

The British government has announced plans to end the British Broadcasting Corp.'s 61-year monopoly on national radio broadcasting by creating at least three national commercial stations. The move could result in a major shake-up of Britain's radio services. Home Secretary Douglas Hurd told the House of Commons that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party government also plans to deregulate local radio services, allowing the creation of several hundred new community commercial radio stations. Hurd said a new radio authority would be created to regulate commercial radio services "with a light touch" with the aim of protecting the consumer rather than directing the broadcaster. The authority would take away the responsibility for commercial radio now held by the Independent Broadcasting Authority. A bill to implement the government's plans will be introduced in Parliament this fall and is expected to become law before summer of 1989, he added.

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