Ofcom has approved a Format change request for Sam FM South Coast to drop adult-oriented album tracks and classic rock music.
The changes allow owner Nation Broadcasting to continue its plan to rebrand the station as Greatest Hits Radio under a brand licence agreement from Bauer.
The existing Character of Service is “An adult alternative station playing adult oriented album tracks, classic rock and predominantly non-contemporary pop/rock hits, with particular appeal for 35-59 year olds.
It has now been changed to “An adult alternative station playing predominantly non-contemporary pop/rock hits, with particular appeal for 35-59 year olds.”
Locally-made programmes can now be made anywhere within the Ofcom West of England area, rather than within the licensed area.
Sam FM started life called Original 106 as “An adult album alternative station playing an album-led, credible mix of adult-orientated music, with particular appeal for 40-59 year olds, with 24 hour news” but has has three format changes since, gradually losing the rock element of the service.
Nation says the station will still play rock and pop rock/hits within its overall music mix (when it becomes GHR) and points out that a range of rock formats is now widely available to listeners in the South via national DAB and other platforms.
Ofcom said there were no policy grounds upon which to reject the request.
Sam FM South Coast / Solent will rebrand to Greatest Hits Radio in September and network all programmes from Bauer, with the exception of a daily afternoon drive show.