Sam FM Bristol in breach for offensive language

Sam FM Bristol has been found in breach of the Ofcom Code for airing a song with a swear word in it.

The regulator received a complaint that the broadcast of the song 2All by Catfish and the Bottlemen, as played during ‘The No Repeat 9 to 5 on Sam FM’ show on 20 May 2019.

The Licensee, Celador Radio, apologised for the broadcast of the song and acknowledged that it included lyrics that were “unacceptable for broadcast on Sam FM at that time” and that it was “inadvertently missed during a routine compliance check of the song”.

Celador pointed out that the song was broadcast during “automated, presenter-free programming”. It was not spotted at the time but was detected and pulled the following day.

The Licensee said that it had “taken steps” to tighten the compliance process for clearing songs so that this “unfortunate error is not repeated in future”.

Upon investigation, Ofcom said the broadcast of this language was not justified by the context.

“We recognised the various actions the Licensee said it had taken following this incident. However, the selection of content to broadcast during “automated, presenter-free programming” requires appropriate compliance oversight, especially given that no apology can be made in the course of this type of programming if an unforeseen event occurs,” Ofcom said.

Sam FM is now owned by Bauer Media but is operating under Hold Separate until the CMA investigates issues.

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  1. ciaran flavin says

    In all honesty, this should not be a matter for ofcom. It is when presenters use bad language, that an apology should be asked for.
    Try listening to radio in eire where vulgar language is the norm particularly on the 4FM Niall Boylan phone ins at noon and again at 9pm

  2. Neal says

    Unfortunately it is a matter for Ofcom as they just love all this trivial rubbish. Meanwhile Rome burns while Nero fiddles!! In this case that will be all local radio in the UK gone then.Maybe if we had humans at the microphone and engineers at control desks in the middle of the bloody day there maybe less chance of you worrying about the F word. Perhaps then you could find time to do something worthwhile?!

  3. David says

    Even when show’s are automated in most cases there will be a producer or tech op overseeing the output, as playout systems can have their moments of madness. Dalet, Genesys and Myriad all have their quirks.

    It’s too important to run the risk of losing revenue by ad blocks failing to air for example.

    But even so songs do slip through the net. Planet Rock had a incident a few years back and introduced a policy where two members of the programming team had to approve a song for air to minimize this.

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