It's the end of the road for troubled Mersey 106.7, formerly known as KCR FM. The Merseyside station closed down today after its licence was revoked in an unprecedented Ofcom move.
It comes after several warnings from the regulator, which has ruled that the station has failed to provide the required level of service.
The licence is revoked from the end of today. Programmes went out as normal until shortly after the 4pm news, when the song [i]Breaking up is hard to do[/i] by Neil Sedaka was played. The station then went to dead air.
Writing on RadioToday.co.uk's discussion forum, Mersey presenter Tony James described the scene as the station was closed: "At just after midday, I took a call that advised me that ofcom were to pull the plug. They told us to cease transmission before midnight tonight.
"I went to the studios at three thirty with our engineers and other presenters, where all the staff were told the news. At this point after some discussion, it was decided to end broadcasting there and then."
This shock revocation is the first action of its kind undertaken by the media regulator. The station had already received a so-called "yellow card" from Ofcom late last year for failing to provide any local news and content in its output following an extended period of automation. It is reported that the station was refused access to its premises in October, leading to the suspension of live programming.
The station originally launched in 2001 and was relaunched as The Rocket following a purchase by TLRC in 2005. It was subsequently bought by its original owner, Ray Ferguson, who restored the KCR name.
Most recently, the station came into the ownership of Southport-based Polaris Media.
After an off-air period lasting several weeks, the short-lived Mersey 106.7 hit the airwaves at the end of January with a promise of "Great Songs for Liverpool". Presenters included Jon Jessop, Ian Abbott and Jamie Clark.
[b]KCR's chequered history[/b]
3 July 2008: [url=http://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.3559]KCR announces an abortive plan to relaunch as The Edge[/url]
5 September 2008: [url=http://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.3778.2]KCR sold for the fourth time in as many years, to Polaris Media[/url]
16 October 2008: [url=http://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.3942.7]The station loses half its audience, dropping to just 2,000 listeners[/url]
28 October 2008: [url=http://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.3981.2]Ofcom hits the station with a yellow card for broadcasting "no local news or information"[/url]
29 October 2008: [url=http://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.3995]The beleaguered station finds itself locked out of its own premises by bailiffs[/url]
23 January 2009: [url=http://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.4305]Mersey 106.7 takes over the former KCR frequency[/url]