A new industry body to promote radio as a medium and to maximise its commercial appeal is being launched today.

Radiocentre Ireland is a joint initiative between RTÉ and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland.

It is understood to be the first time that RTÉ and the independent sector have come together in a formal multi-year agreement with the aim of growing advertising investment in the radio and audio sector.

The board of the organisation is made up of seven executives - three each representing RTÉ and the IBI - as well as John Purcell, Chairperson of the IBI, who will act as Chair of the new group.

Mr Purcell has extensive experience in the area having been involved in the establishment and management of a number of regional and national radio stations including KCLR and Newstalk.

Recruitment is currently underway for the position of chief executive.

"The Radio and Audio sector has undergone a rapid evolution," John Purcell said.

"The organisation will bring co-operation between the independent radio stations and RTÉ to a whole new level, ensuring that the scale, versatility and cost effectiveness of radio is properly appreciated in the marketing mix," he added.

The RTÉ representatives on the board are Dan Healy, head of 2fm, Geraldine O'Leary, Group Head of Commercial RTÉ and Debbie Kennedy, Head of Trading with RTÉ Commercial.

IBI is represented by Sean Barry, Managing Director of Wireless Group Ireland, Simon Myciunka, Bauer Media Audio Ireland chief executive and Tim O'Keeffe, chief executive of Radio Kerry.