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Ofcom reject Kix 96 format change

CN Group owned Kix 96 in coventry has had a format change request rejected by Ofcom. At its meeting on 25 July 2005, Ofcom's Radio Licensing Committee was asked to consider a request to change the music element of its current Format from the requirements for a "roughly equal mix between Current Top 40, Reggae/Soul, and Dance" and at least five hours each week of Irish specialist music programming, to a music format described as "a mix of adult contemporary music from the 60s/70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and current/recurrent hits [the latter comprising not more than 25 per cent of the output] and with no specialist music requirements."

Ofcom took the view that these changes would substantially alter the character of the service and therefore, under the requirements of section 106ZA of the 1990 Broadcast Act, a public consultation was held, lasting 42 days. Ofcom may consent to the change only if it is satisfied that one of the following criteria specified in section 106(1A) (a) to (d) of the 1990 Broadcasting Act is satisfied.

They are:
(a) That the departure would not substantially alter the character of the service;
(b) The change would not narrow the range of programmes available by way of relevant independent radio services; or
(c) The change would be conducive to the maintenance or promotion of fair and effective competition; or
(d) There is evidence that, amongst persons living in Coventry, there is significant demand for, or significant support for the change.

After full and careful consideration the Committee decided to reject the Format change request. In reaching its decision the Committee found that:
[i]"The change would represent a substantial change to the character of service in that the wording of the current Format obliges Kix 96 to broadcast to identified communities in Coventry. The proposed Format clearly removed these significant elements"[/i]

Such a change would narrow the range of services available in the Coventry area and in so doing, would have the potential to impinge further on the output of Classic Gold 1359 and Mercia FM;

Insufficient evidence was provided by the applicant for Ofcom to make an assessment of Format change on competition grounds. The submission did not demonstrate demand or support for the Format change amongst persons living in Coventry.

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