Exeter community radio station Phonic FM has breached broadcast rules with bad language twice in five weeks, Ofcom has found.
The station broadcast several swearwords during a film review in its mid-morning show in September.
The second offence came just weeks after it played a song with the F-word in its lyrics on a Friday morning during the school summer holidays. Ofcom has now warned the station of further regulatory action if similar compliance issues arise.
Phonic’s “Big Wednesday with Shawn” show reviewed the film “Dead in France”, and played a montage from the soundtrack. Ofcom said that while some of the speech appeared to have been obscured, it included: “It’s a terrible thing when someone doesn’t pay you what you’re due.”
“Oh f**k yeah.”
“Fu [garbled] ba**ard.”
“You are a naughty bunch of pricks aren’t you?”
Phonic said that the preview material had been sourced from the distributor of the DVD. The presenter confirmed that the trailer was marked “Recommended for mature audiences”, but included it because he thought it had been fully edited by the distributor.
Unlike its previous breach, this was during school term, so Ofcom considered that this was not a time when children would be particularly likely to be listening. However the regulator said that “the majority of listeners to a community radio station playing a broad range of music and speech at this time of day would not expect programmes to contain examples of the most offensive language, as occurred here. As a result we concluded that the broadcast of this language was not justified by the context.”
The regulator found the station in breach of Rule 2.3 of its Broadcasting Code. After this second offence, it expected Phonic FM “to take particular care with future broadcasts” and placed them on notice of “further regulatory action” if further similar breaches occurred. As part of its previous breach, Phonic told Ofcom that its presenters would receive additional training to make them more aware of the compliance framework regarding offensive lyrics and language.