Ofcom investigates Russ Williams’ swearing
Absolute Radio and two listeners have alerted Ofcom about an accidental swearing incident which aired on Absolute Classic Rock.
In what the station says was an error of judgement on the part of the presenter, exacerbated by a member of staff’s error, Russ Williams was heard during a link offering his opinion on the studio he was recording in.
“This is a fucking shit studio,” was broadcast off-mic between two songs, after the programme was wrongly editied together.
Following the error, station owners TIML explained that it took a number of measures to mitigate any offence caused by the incident and to ensure the mistake was not repeated.
These included making apologies both on air and on its social networking pages within an hour of the broadcast; issuing reminders to staff about studio etiquette and the importance of double-checking all pre-recorded programmes; implementing a new process for recording and inserting audio links for pre recorded programmes; and taking disciplinary action against the individuals involved.
After investigation, Ofcom concluded that this material was broadcast at a time when children were particularly likely to have been listening.
TIML pointed out that Absolute Classic Rock does not target a young audience at any time as the genre does not generally appeal to children. It provided Ofcom with audience figures for the Russ Williams programme which showed that the number of child listeners was too low to record a measurement. Nonetheless, TIML accepted that this incident was the result of an error of judgement on the part of the presenter, exacerbated by a member of staff’s error in this case.
The station was found the station in Breach of the broadcasting code.