Celador’s Breeze, Coast and Jack stations have all been given Ofcom approval to reduce the number of hours of locally made programmes to 7 per day.
The group says the drop from 10 per day will be replaced by an enhanced news service.
The decision means the group could share programmes between the stations if it chooses to. The Coast is the regional licence originally won as Original 106, while The Breeze requests were for the Portsmouth, Winchester and Southampton licences acquired by Celador (formerly stations Radio Victory/The Quay; Win FM/Dream/Radio Hampshire/Play Radio; and SouthCity/The Saint/Radio Hampshire/Play Radio. The decision also covers Celador’s newest addition – Jack FM, bought from Tomahawk along with the Bristol-based Star station.
A consultation on the change of Star Radio Bristol to target an older audience and remove the requirement to provide multi-cultural programmes is ongoing until later this month.
Ofcom says the format change requests to cut local programming requirements on Jack, The Breeze and The Coast have been approved because the departure would not substantially alter the character of the service, and because it is consistent with Ofcom’s policy on local news, as set out in their published localness guidelines.