Bath FM and Brunel FM have fallen foul of Ofcom after ‘yellow card’ warnings. Last December both South West Radio Ltd stations were carded for not delivering the level of localness required by their Formats.
The media regulator pinpointed a twenty-four hour period in November 2008 where neither station provided local news, output or even a presenter. Warning the parent company that Ofcom would monitor their output again, but would happily lift the yellow cards if the issues raised had been addressed satisfactorily.
In January of this year Ofcom monitored the stations again focusing specifically on local news and material and automation/quality of output considerations. All three of which were found to be sorely wanting, with the exact same pre-recorded news bulletins broadcast every hour. Presenters were noticeable by their absence and there were instances when news bulletins were cut prematurely short, while Bath FM replayed an entire hour of the previous week’s output that included Christmas messages.
Responding, South West Radio Ltd expressed great concern at the findings and promised new staffing and programming, including a sports show, to combat the problems raised in Ofcom’s report.
The media regulator has since recorded a formal breach of licences for both Bath FM and Brunel FM and kept the Yellow Card warning in place and plans to monitor their output again within the next three months.