Ofcom rejects changes for Heart Cornwall
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Ofcom rejects changes for Heart Cornwall

Radio regulator Ofcom has said no to Global Radio’s request to change the format of its newly acquired station Heart Cornwall.

The station, previously known as Atlantic FM launched with an obligation to provide a full service output, which includes more local content than other Heart stations.

And now, following a public consultation in which nine out of 12 responses were against the change, Ofcom has rejected the request.

Cornwall is only served by two commercial stations, and Ofcom said part of the decision was based on competitor Pirate FM’s format being so general (“A locally-orientated, broad music and information station for Cornwall”). So changing Heart Cornwall’s would remove, or significantly dilute, most, if not all, of the Format requirements which make Heart Cornwall’s Format distinctive.

As a result of this, Heart Cornwall has kept a local drivetime show, separate from other Heart stations in its region since joining the Heart network. The other 20 hours a day will continued to be shared with Heart Devon.

In response, William Rogers from Pirate FM’s owner UKRD told RadioToday.co.uk: “This is a great result for genuinely local radio in the UK and I warmly welcome the decision Ofcom has taken.

“Full service local radio licences should be there to provide genuinely locally focussed full service local radio and the regulator is spot on in ensuring that it requires operators who hold these types of licences to deliver appropriate locally focussed content.

“These decisions are never easy and Ofcom has got this one spot on.”

Ofcom said: “Given that the proposal affected Heart Cornwall’s core requirement to be a “full service local station specifically for Cornwall, with speech an important part of the content”, and would require a significant rewording of its Character of Service, the executive determined that the request, if granted, would represent a significant change to the character of the station’s existing service.”

The responses are available to view online here.



0 27 103 16 October, 2012 Industry News October 16, 2012

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Roy Martin is Managing Editor and Founder of RadioToday. Follow him on Twitter @roymartin.

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27 comments

  1. Billy Bob

    At last Ofcom standing up to those parasites at Global Radio. Ahhh poor Ashley, Richard and whats his name? Oh yeah Miron.

    Reply
    1. Name withheld 1

      Since your name doesn’t appear on the Ofcom list – may I ask why you are “name withheld,” yet appear to be happy to come on here with your real name and post?

      Reply
    1. MB

      Unlikely. It’s still making them a nice profit even with the separate drive requirement. Everything else is networked from Devon or London.
      It isn’t Global’s style to sell stations unless they are forced to, Heart Cornwall won’t be up for sale anytime soon.

      Reply
  2. themorningdeejay

    So common sense prevails for once. The good folks of Cornwall do not want a ‘local’ service which is broadcast from a studio 150 miles away (which is why people will turn off BBC local radio when it becomes national in the evenings). Time to do a runner, Global, put Atlantic Heart up for sale.

    Reply
  3. Marylou2

    Well done Ofcom !! how on earth were Global allowed to control so much of our airwaves in the first place.. Seriously needs looking at by the monopolies commission.

    Reply
      1. Aaron James

        Cornish born, Cornish bred. Raised in Cornwall. Bodmin to be precise. I didn’t ask for my name to be withheld so I don’t know why it was. And you sir, have absolutely no manners. How much are you being paid for this propeganda mission?

        Reply
  4. Keith Hope

    It only
    means Heart will have to do separate local bits for Cornwall. It will come from elsewhere no doubt.

    Strange
    decision though, last week the regulator said that local news and information
    where not important on local radio!

    Reply
  5. James Martin

    I’m going to wade in here with a different opinion and wait to get voted down.

    This decision has benefited nobody. As we all saw, there were 12 responses – and at least two of the 12 are on this site, which proves a lot of them were anoraks. The only serious response was the one from the MP. We also had the hilarious “Heart have moved the studios from Cornwall to England.” Ofcom have had to listen to these idiots!

    How many actually lived in Cornwall do you think?

    Why are the mergers of stations into regional clusters up and down the land OK, yet a 3-hour show on a small license has to be micro-managed?

    It’s not good news for anyone. It’s not even good news for Pirate FM as this reduces the “local” advantage they might otherwise have.

    The only winners are the anoraks who want to come on here and DS and throw a few #Nah-nah-nah-nah-naaahs!# at Global.

    Go on, vote me down. Feel better now?

    Reply
    1. Keith Hope

      I agree
      another load of twaddle from the regulator and of course the point about UKRD
      is that they have to continue with the mantra.

      Last week’s
      Ofcom’s plurality report suggested that local radio is not important for news
      and information. So is there a different policy this week?

      As per
      below comment, Global will just squirt some local talk down the line to more or
      less satisfy the current agreement. A mere sideshow in the big picture.

      Reply
  6. peeed off no choice listener

    Why refuse this one when 4 counties Heart was able to merge and now there is NO commercial choice? Literally Heart or BBC!

    Reply
  7. Bored now

    Radio is good, advertising on it is an ego trip at the prices being charged by pirate on only one transmitter, who cares if heart is broadcast from Devon or London, doesn’t effect my bills !!
    Radio should be entertaining, informative and most of all different,
    All commercial station carry the same virus, trying to out do each other, the ones who miss out are the listener, grow a pair think of your own ideas Pirate and Heart, break from the usual dross!!!!

    Reply
  8. global thoughts

    Hahaaaaa find it hillarious that UKRD comment. Their entire group have less listeners than one of the regional hubs!!

    Reply

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