Chorley FM returns to Ofcom to change key commitments

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

Chorley FM has submitted further proposals to Ofcom to change a number of its key licence commitments.

It comes just months after the regulator rejected similar proposals saying that they would have had a “significant impact” on the character of its service.

When the station originally began broadcasting in 2006, it had a stated aim to appeal to young people aged 15-25 and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community of Chorley.

However, in documents submitted to Ofcom, it claimed that some of the wording of original commitments were “politically influenced.”

It is hoping to get permission to reduce the emphasis on its target audience, i.e. younger people and the LGBT community.

The proposed changed to its key commitments is:

“Community to be served: The population that live, work and study in Chorley and to include targeted content for the young people of Chorley (15-25 years of age) and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.”

In explanation, it stated that it has “proved impossible to produce general programming which only appeals to the stated age group.”

Adding “it was a mistake to assume the taste of our audience was linked to their age.”

There is also a request to change the phrasing of the “character of service”. They argue that “political pressure was influential in including certain wording such as the phrase ‘Chorley’s youth in targeted community safety areas.’”

In terms of programming, it wants to remove the “encouraging social group activity” because it is “too vague and it is unclear what was intended by its inclusion.” There is also a request to remove the commitment not to “broadcast programmes consisting of continuous current or recent chart music.” This, it stated “made little sense for a station with such a wide music commitment.”

There is also a request to remove “live” from its programming commitments, as “in the current environment it is difficult to find volunteers with availability for every daytime slot.”

The station, which has been broadcasting since 2006 had its licence extended to November 2016.

The proposals are now out to consultation, which closes at 5pm on Tuesday 13 October 2015.