Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ofcom - com Off it !

Today Ofcom, under rules approved by Government agreed:

1. That moving local programmes of the Teeside Radio station 'TFM' to studios in Newcastle Upon Tyne (a distance of 40 miles):

"would neither substantially alter the character of service nor narrow the range of programmes available. The new arrangements of co-location and programming sharing would fall under the Ofcom current policies as programming would continue to be broadcast under the enhanced* local area"

2. But also today Ofcom questioned removing a once a week Asian programme from the 'Bee' radio station in Blackburn, as it:

"would substantially alter the character of the "'Bee" radio service so needs to take the request to consultation..."

Fact 1: the population of the TFM radio area is 818,000 people with 167,000 actual listeners*

Fact 2 : the 'Bee's area population is 411,000 people with 37,000 actual listeners* but with only 10% being Asian that equals an average 
3,700 people

QUESTION to Ofcom and the Government:

A. HOW can altering the 'character' of one programme on a (once a week) show only aimed at 41,000* people (of whom a maximum of 3,700 actually listen) be more important than allowing the closing of a truly local station aimed at 818,000 people with 167,000* listeners?

B. How can replacing a service whose presenters were trained to reflect Teesside with one staffed by presenters trained to reflect Newcastle upon Tyne, not "substantially alter the character of service"?

THE 'request' you need to 'take to consultation' Ofcom, is the Metro Radio one !

Len Groat

* All audience stats - Rajar (Last Quarter 2012)

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