A further two community radio stations have been found in breach of licence conditions after broadcasting songs with unsuitable lyrics.
OnFM in Hammersmith played a track with 41 instances of the F word, whilst Inner London’s Rinse FM played a similar track whilst unable to access its studio during the London Riots.
OnFM played the song “Star 69” by Fatboy Slim on Saturday 18th June at 7:30am, which Ofcom picked up on during routine monitoring. The station acknowledged that the incident “flies in the face of OnFM‟s strict policy of family broadcasting” and offered its “deepest and most sincere apologies”. After an internal investigation, the Licensee concluded that the song in question had been inserted in the playlist intentionally. It said that “even before the offence was made known to us, an individual had had his pass and key removed and had been shut out of the building”.
In February this year, Ofcom also recorded a breach of Licence Condition 2(4) against OnFM, since it was failing to provide the service set out in its Key Commitments.
Rinse FM had to leave its studio with 10 minutes notice during recent riots, but was not allowed re-enter for over 40 hours. The presenter who was on-air at the time did not have the programming skills to schedule over 40 hours of output which ended up in podcasts being aired which weren’t meant to be. One of them included a four minute song which contained 30 uses of the word
“mother-f” or a derivative, as well as other examples of offensive language and explicit sexual phrases.
The Licensee offered its “unreserved apologies for the unfortunate broadcast of inappropriate material”. However, it believed “the contextual situation that [it] faced on the night of 8 August was so unpredictable as to warrant exceptional dispensation.
It’s not the first time Rinse FM has been caught broadcasting records containing the F-word. Earlier this year the station was found in breach of the Broadcast Code for using offensive language in songs during an afternoon show in March.
In light of these and other recent complaints, Ofcom has repeated its request to a number of radio broadcasters across the industry who transmit such programming to attend a meeting at Ofcom to discuss issues relating to offensive language.