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Ocean FM breach format

Ofcom have found Ocean FM in breach of its format for the second time in eight months.

Despite the formal breach, which the regulators considered "at odds with the core format promise" and "failing to fulfill the spirit of the station licence", the station has not been penalised.

Ocean FM is licensed as an Adult Contemporary station, which should play “predominantly (up to 70%) current Adult Contemporary tracks … from the previous twelve months”.

During October 2007, Ofcom monitored Ocean FM and found less than 10 per cent of the music was from the past 12 months and also noted a high number of classic and alternative/modern rock tracks being aired, already provided by other stations in the area such as Original 106.

Sampling by Ofcom during January found Ocean to be still playing a significant number of tracks by the likes of Muse, Arctic Monkeys, the Foo Fighters and The Who, meaning the station could not be considered to be serving an Adult Contemporary format.

GCap responded by stating the breach was the result of the station’s automation system, and several presenters dropping a number of songs which had been scheduled to play out.

Ofcom will continue to monitor Ocean FM over the next three months and have proposed financial penalties if further breaches of format are recorded.

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