Ofcom has agreed a format change request for Celador’s Solent station The Coast, which removes the requirement to play album tracks and turns the licence into a ‘classic and contemporary rock station for the over 40s’.
The regulator received nine responses to a public consultation on the proposed format change – seven of which were against the idea.
One respondent was particularly concerned about the potential for music overlap with the other Solent regional service, Wave 105, thereby potentially reducing listener choice, and with regard to this was concerned about the ambiguity of rock music as a genre.
Ofcom’s Radio Licensing Committee decided that the change of format wouldn’t narrow the range of programmes available in the region and noted that the core target audience for both formats remains essentially the same – i.e. men aged over 40. The regulator said that Wave 105’s format doesn’t have a specific requirement to play rock music and airplay data suggests that Wave 105 ‘is very much a “variety” station playing a wide mix of artists and genres drawn from the Adult Contemporary radio format’.
The Coast’s previous format, inherited from when the licence was won as Original 106 is:
AN ADULT ALBUM ALTERNATIVE STATION PLAYING AN ALBUM-LED, CREDIBLE MIX OF ADULT-ORIENTED MUSIC, WITH PARTICULAR APPEAL FOR 40-59 YEAROLDS, WITH 24-HOUR NEWS.
The new format becomes:
A CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY ROCK STATION FOR LISTENERS OVER 40 IN THE SOLENT REGION.
Radio Today hopes to be able to bring you more news on how Celador plan to implement the format change – and the expected timescales – later today.