The latest Ofcom broadcast bulletin has just been released and details two cases of community stations in breach of their licences and one, Somer Valley FM which has been resolved. As these judgements are wide-ranging and very detailed we summarise them here and link you to the full PDF document.
Somer Valley FM – Were pulled up recently because a non-radio friendly track had been loaded onto the system, requested by a young listener and played. This contraved the following rule:
Rule 1.14 of the Code: “The most offensive language must not be broadcast…. when children are particularly likely to be listening (in the case of radio).”
As the station apologised unreservedlyboth on air and to Ofcom. The station has a good track record and so for this incident, the issue is resolved.
Brick FM – Ofcom had received complaints that the station was not fulfilling its key commitments and made several requests over 2010 for evidence to be submitted for review. Terms of the licence state:
“The Licensee shall: 8 (2) (a) make and retain, for a period of 42 days from the date of its inclusion therein, a recording of every programme included in the Licensed Service together with regular time reference checks.”
(b) at the request of Ofcom forthwith produce to Ofcom any such recording for examination and reproduction.”
9 (1) (d) [provide] such information as Ofcom may reasonably require for the purpose of determining the extent to which the Licensee is providing the Licensed Service to meet the objectives and commitments specified in the Community Radio Order 2004”
Though Brick FM provided some information, it was poorly labelled and did not constitute the full request from Ofcom. Failure to provide this information is considered a significant breach of licence conditions and means Ofcom is unable to assess the station’s adherence to their key commitments. Further breaches wull lead to regulatory action.
Breach of Licence Condition 8(2) and 9(1) contained in Part 2 of the Schedule to the community radio licence held by Brick FM Ltd (licence number CR135)
OnFM – Complaints had been received about the station’s adherence to their key commitments which promise 60% of speech and 40% music content over an eight hour period. On listening to recordings and monitoring output Ofcom found the station was not maintaining condition 2(4), contained in Part 2 of the Schedule to the licence which states that:
“The Licensee shall ensure that the Licensed Service accords with the proposals set out in the Annex so as to maintain the character of the Licensed Service throughout the licence period.”
The station agreed this was a problem but because Ofcom felt the station was able to achieve its aimed for speech output it has found the station in breach.
Breach of Licence Condition 2(4) in Part 2 of the Schedule to the community radio licence held by OnFM Ltd (licence number CR074)