Ofcom has issued Emap station Kiss 100 with the largest financial penalty ever imposed on a commercial radio station in the UK – 175,000 pounds. The fine is due to numerous and serious breaches of Ofcom’s codes including Ofcom’s first penalty to be imposed on any broadcaster for a serious breach of fairness and privacy rules.
All 10 complaints relate to features and comments on the Bam Bam (real name Peter Poulton) Breakfast show broadcast between April and November 2005. Bill Griffin, MD of Kiss, in response to Ofcom?s adjudication told RadioToday.co.uk:
?As a radio station that tries to push the boundaries whilst engaging the capital?s biggest young, urban audience, we accept that we can sometimes unintentionally overstep the mark. We have made every effort to prevent a reoccurrence and we fully accept Ofcom?s findings and apologise for any offence caused.?
Two of the complaints (one of which has been published previously) concerned two so-called ?wind-up? or prank calls, and the rest of the complaints concerned the scheduling of inappropriate material, such as offensive language and sexual content. The material in question was transmitted over a period of just over six months and breached rules primarily concerning the protection of children.
Emap Radio admitted that their procedures were not ?up to spec? at the time of the Kiss 100 complaints, and that some of the content on the breakfast show in the past had not been acceptable. Emap Radio also admitted that they could not defend some of the material which had been broadcast, and made no attempt to do.
Bam Bam left the show in April 2006 after it was announced his contract was not renewed. He had presented the breakfast show since September 1999.
It follows a previous record fine (?125,000) against another of its radio stations in November 2005 – Key 103 in Manchester.
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