Ofcom has agreed a Format change for Kiss 100, allowing the station to officially drop peaktime ‘on the hour’ news. The Format change request comes years after the station stopped the peak bulletins, due to what was believed to be a ‘genuine oversight’ at the Emap station.
Changes were made to only feature local and regional news at breakfast during the transition from the Promise of Performance to Format some years ago. Emap noticed they were not operating within format, and officially requested a change, suggesting that making the change now would not alter the character of the service.
Mike Phillips, Head of Regulatory and Public Affairs says: “Whilst we recognise this breaches the requirement contained in our Format, it was a genuine oversight that came to light when we were reviewing the content of our Public File for the station.”
Mike continues: “We do not believe that reducing the requirement for peaktime news bulletins to breakfast time on a station that is licensed to provide a specialist music service substantially alters the character of the service and hope that Ofcom will approve the request for change.
And Ofcom agrees: “Taking into account the specialist music status of the station (ie general news is not a priority here), and the fact that there have been no complaints, Ofcom feels it is reasonable to adjust the Format accordingly, with no change to the character of service.”
Ofcom did admit that it was an unusual request to exclude elements of programming that have been required, but not delivered. However, the regulatory body is keen to point out that they would not normally seek to ‘reward’ failure to deliver obligations by removing those obligations from the Format.
Basically, because Kiss is a specialist music station, and because it dropped peaktime news years ago, they cannot see any reason not to approve the Format chance, as it won’t make any different to young Londoner’s who just want dance music and club listings.
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