Radio scene of Greece is expected to undergo a big change, if the government goes ahead with their plan to grant licenses for commercial radio stations with nationwide coverage. According to a report by Stelios Ioannou in Naftemporiki, the procedure for allocating radio frequencies will take place once more (since none of the previous efforts has been implemented), whereas there is a case that local frequencies will be retained, so that they can be granted to radio enterprises aiming to a nationwide coverage. According this very report, it is being considered that these frequencies will not follow the regular licensing process, but be a subject for a bidding process instead.
According the same source, this regulation has been subject of public dialogue, which though has not been apparent either in the e-government website, or the website of the Ministry of Press. We have therefore heard nothing concerning the reactions of the local radio stations, which will see big part of their audience to tune directly to major radio stations (most probably) from Athens, as they will soon have their own local frequencies. This way, many of the former are going to loose the advantage given by the current legislation about networking, i.e. the ability to relay part of the program of the Athens stations (officially limited to 5 hours per day) mixed with their own local commercials.
Greek local radio has seen a relative decline, during the last years; whereas concerning content and personnel, the level is (at least comparatively) severely low. This is probably a reason why the 24h nationwide networks may gain a warm approval from the radio audience, who will see more radio choices. Nevertheless, concerning the local radio stations themselves, if in other times we would hope that such a competition challenge would force them to increase the content provided, during the crisis period they are in danger of being ultimately marginalized.