Eagle Extra’s Format will change to a completely new Character of Service after Ofcom approved a request to allow Christian programming.
The UKRD station currently provides a service of local music and information in the Surrey and North East Hampshire area, but the licence will now transfer to Premier Christian Radio giving them another AM outlet around London.
The decision to allow the change was reached following an Ofcom consultation, which closed in October 2014. Eight responses were received to the consultation. Six respondents opposed the change and two supported it.
One of the anonymous responses said: “The license (sic) should be handed back and others allowed to apply in a fair and democratic manner” whilst another said “I do not believe the changes should be permitted as Premier Christian Radio already covers a proportion of Eagle Extra’s MCA on 1305kHz and nationally on DAB”.
Others were from listeners including one which did not want to lose 60s music in an afternoon. The Christian Broadcasting Council supported the change.
Ofcom agreed the change on the basis that the replacement of the current Eagle Extra service with Premier Christian Radio would “result in one distinctive service in the market being replaced with another, arguably even more distinctive, service”.
Premier Christian Radio broadcasts in London from five transmitters on MW 1305, 1332, 1413, nationally on DAB, and on Freeview channel 725.
The transmitters are: 1305 from Chingford (north) and Ewell (south), 1413 from Heathrow (west) and Dartford (east), and 1332 from Bow (central London).
The existing Character of Service (as set out in Eagle Extra’s published Format document) is:
A LOCAL MUSIC AND INFORMATION STATION FOR ADULTS. DAYTIME MUSIC WILL FEATURE MELODIC HITS FROM THE LAST FIVE DECADES. COMMUNITY PROGRAMMING WILL FEATURE IN THE EVENINGS AND AT WEEKENDS. EVENINGS AND WEEKENDS MAY ALSO INCLUDE SPECIALIST MUSIC SHOWS
The new Character of Service proposed was:
A FULL SERVICE OF SPEECH AND MUSIC WHICH REFLECTS AND PROCLAIMS THE WORSHIP, THOUGHT AND ACTION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH