Nation Radio in South Wales has been granted a change of Format which allows them to concentrate on playing more modern rock.
The change comes after a four week public consultation on a request to become a new music station, avoiding ‘manufactured pop’ and focusing on credible rock with other genres of appeal.
Ofcom’s Radio Licensing Committee met on February 23rd to consider the amended wording to the Format requested by Nation Radio. The approved change is:
“A PREDOMINANTLY MODERN ROCK STATION FOR 15-34 YEAR-OLDS. OTHER COMPATIBLE GENRES WILL COMPLEMENT THE OUTPUT, WHICH WILL ALSO INCLUDE COVERAGE OF LOCAL ARTISTS.”
During the consultation process, Ofcom received three responses. GMG Radio, who own competitor Real Radio Wales, said they had some sympathy with a request to change the Nation Format, but felt Nation Radio had not spelled out in enough detail exactly the sort of station that would be created if Ofcom agreed to the change.
UTV, who also own a local competitor, felt that Ofcom could not agree to the change as none of the statutory criteria which must be taken into account were satisfied, and that Nation would effectively become too mainstream for a service licensed as a specialist rock music station.
The third respondent was from an individual who opposed the change predominantly because of “lack of definition”.
Ofcom took the responses into account and spoke further with Nation Radio, who clarified their request and confirmed they would not be seeking to move to a more ‘mainstream’ Format. The Ofcom content board and RLC both took the view that the wording of a revised Format should clarify that the station is still a rock station with an appeal to the same listenership, helping to ensure the station retains its distinctiveness in the area and prevent a Format ‘creep’ towards mainstream music.
Responses in the consultation are all non-confidential and can be viewed [link=http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/nationradio/responses/]here[/link].