According to reports this week, Channel 4 executives are effectively split over the broadcaster’s digital radio venture.

4 Digital Group consortium led by Channel 4 was awarded the second national DAB multiplex licence. The consortium had proposed to provide ten linear national services including that of Sunrise Radio.

However, MediaGuardian has said that a leading executive at the group was split, with chief executive, Andy Duncan and director of new business and corporate development, Nathalie Schwarz, who are advocates of the project, looking increasingly isolated.

The programme commissioning team believe the radio venture will drain Channel 4 of up to 100m, which is needed to bolster its programme budget at a tough point when the channel is about to launch its campaign for public assistance.

Senior channel executives accordingly held a meeting last week to consider options and the board, chaired by Luke Johnson, is to take a hard look at the policy decision to invest in digital radio at its April meeting.

It looks increasingly unlikely that the new national multiplex consisting of channels like Sunrise Radio is launching this year.

In other DAB digital radio news, Financial Times has reported the possibility of BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4 and Five Live gradually switching to DAB only, albeit over a long time period.