The tender for Israel’s private radio stations finally took place last month after numerous delays and political bottlenecks that threatened to kill the entire initiative.

In mid-December a tender was issued for the first seven of an eventual 16 local radio stations that should begin operating by September.

More than 25 firms bought application forms from communications officials.

Nachman Shai, director general of the newly formed Radio Authority, says that under his direction, there will be minimal intervention in the running of the new stations – except to ensure that certain community-oriented programming and news requirements are met, and that ethical and professional guidelines are adhered to.

The radio advertising market, currently worth $27 million a year, is expected to skyrocket once the new stations are under way. Already, the Voice of Israel is campaigning to carry more ads.

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