Six community radio stations found in breach of Key Commitments

Six more community radio stations have been found in breach of their licence conditions today by Ofcom.

The issues range from having a commercial message in a news bulletin, playing a song with a swear word, not broadcasting enough speech, and not broadcasting at all.

Moorlands Radio, a station covering the rural Staffordshire Moorlands was found guilty of going against the Broadcasting Code by including ticket prices for a motorcycle training course in its news bulletins.

The station said its news team comprised local radio professionals who: had previously worked in Independent Local Radio, Commercial Radio, BBC Radio and Community Radio;
had received legal training; and were “fully aware of the Broadcasting Code”.

Ofcom has been listening again to Revolution Radio in Northampton after it failed to stick to its Key Commitments a year ago. The regulator found the station was still offering more of a mainstream service rather than a specialised service.

Revolution’s character of service states it “provides a service that is accessible to build bridges between the marginalised communities it serves and a wider mainstream audience”.

Ofcom said it considers that this section of the Licensee’s Key Commitments reiterates that the service serves “marginalised communities”, and builds bridges between those communities and a mainstream audience, rather than a mainstream service which could also appeal to the “diverse ethnic communities of Northampton”.

And because this is the second time that Revolution Radio Limited has been found in breach of Licence Conditions 2(1) and 2(4) it is putting the Licensee on notice that this contravention of its licence will be considered for the imposition of a statutory sanction.

First FM was not meeting its music and speech requirements due to an “internal misunderstanding about the nature of this commitment”.

It assumed its commitment to play local music included playing songs by bands such as Supergrass, Deuce, Ride and Radiohead, who all have local band members.

In addition, the Licensee stated that a “lack of awareness by presenters of the significance of [this precise type of] speech commitment may have lead [sic] to the quantity and quality of such content falling below our expectations at other times.”

Corby Radio has been falling short on its commitment to deliver its daily requirement of original output

After listening to the output, Ofcom said: “Whilst we recognise that Corby Radio broadcast over 15 hours of original output on two days during the week monitored, the requirement in its Key Commitments is to broadcast 15 hours of original output every day.

“We therefore consider that Corby Radio is not complying with its Key Commitments by broadcasting less than the required fifteen hours of original output per day.”

Takeover Radio in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire played 28 & Sublime’ by Kojey Radical, which contains the F word, in a pre-recorded programme.

The station said that is was an error and other inappropriate language in that show, and indeed that song, was ‘bleeped out’”.

The Licensee said in response to this incident they “have now installed software that downloads ‘clean’ versions of any songs to be broadcast so that any offensive language is absent.”

Ofcom said the potential for offence was increased by the lack of apology after the offensive language was broadcast.

And Gravity FM in Grantham stopped broadcasting in February 2022 due to a transmitter issue, but failed to let Ofcom know. The station has been found in breach for Non-provision of service.

Upon investigation, the Licensee told Ofcom that “Due to the landlord of the site of the Transmitter planning to decommission the building we were searching for an alternative site. However, the landlords contractors ended up cutting all power 3 weeks before schedule without notice. Unfortunately, this means we have been unable to sustain transmission of our FM service.”

Gravity FM announced on March 24th that it was closing down for good after 13 years in operation.

Posted on Monday, October 10th, 2022 at 7:16 pm by RadioToday UK

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