Channel 4 has abandoned plans to launch a series of digital radio stations, blaming a lack of potential advertising revenue.

The broadcaster said it was pulling out of 4 Digital Group "very reluctantly" but insisted its role in the consortium was no longer economical.

Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan, whose decision will result in the loss of 15 jobs, said: "We've pursued our radio plans in good faith and continue to believe DAB has a strong future and that we could make a return from radio in the medium term."

The BBC, which was part of the consortium, said Channel 4's move was "disappointing news".

"However, we appreciate that, in light of the current economic climate, Channel 4 felt that they had to leave the 4DG consortium," commented director of audio and music Tim Davie.

"While we regret this, we remain positive about the future of digital radio and DAB.

"Going forward, the BBC is committed to work with the Digital Radio Working Group and all other parties to lead the growth of digital radio.

"DAB will continue to offer high quality services that are proven to have significant appeal to radio listeners, and we look forward to working in partnership with all."

According to Ofcom, there are 7.7 million DAB devices in the UK, with digital radio accounting for 11 per cent of all radio listening.

10/10/2008 17:19:45