Chorley FM wants to change its Key Commitments to remove all references to its current target audience: young people and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community of Chorley.
Instead the community radio station wants to serve the general population that live, work and study in Chorley.
Ofcom has published a consultation following the change request, asking if the move would substantially alter the character of the service.
The station says the primary aim of the founders was to set up a station for the young adult population of Chorley. “It was also an aim to serve the LGBT community who at the time were perceived as a discriminated against and under represented group,” bosses say.
Chorley FM says it has proved impossible to produce general programming which only appeals to the stated age group. “Even our most esoteric dance music output intended for 15-25s has a following with a wide age range and the majority of dance presenters themselves are now older than 25.
The station would not change its specialist programming if the changes are approved, with the request made in response to Ofcom finding them in breach of its Key Commitments last year. “It is still our intention to serve the LGBT community with the successful and well regarded news and entertainment show ‘Breakout’ and other specialist shows when possible.
The station goes on to say “It was a mistake to assume the taste of our audience was linked to their age. The wording infers the station is ‘exclusively for’ rather than ‘inclusive of’ the LGBT community.
“The intention was to be inclusive, providing a service for this group, without excluding and discriminating against the wider population. That is not how this statement reads. The proposed change of wording allows us to be inclusive and serve all our listeners without being discriminatory.”
The consultation closes on February 25th.