Radio Caroline [648 kHz] has asked for a change in its licence. According to its key commitments the station had promised 144 h of original programming each week. This number was over-optimistic. The management now requested a reduction to 120 h.
“Every weekday, we provide original output for 17 hours from 07:00 until 23:59. On Saturdays and Sundays this is currently increased to 22 hours and 19 hours respectively giving an overall weekly total of 126 hours. Any non-original output is broadcast after midnight when listener numbers are minimised. This has been the position, more or less, for the past 12 months as we have been unable to source volunteers willing to provide live or recorded programming during these hours. Consequently, we seek to reduce this commitment to an attainable 120 hours per week which will also provide with us a ‘safety’ margin to cover situations where presenters are unable to make programmes owing to sickness and/or work commitments or for periods where a presenter leaves the Station and a replacement has to be found.”
Decision by Ofcom:
“The request represents approximately a 15% reduction in hours of original output which, in our view, would not substantially impact the character of service. Furthermore, the station has noted that for the 12 months prior to the request they have in fact been producing this reduced amount of original output, so there will be no obvious changes to the service from the perspective of listeners. We have also taken into account the challenges facing the station with regard to sourcing volunteers.”
Please note that at https://www..ofcom.org.uk/manage-your-licence/radio-broadcast-licensing/monthly-updates there is still no link to https://www.ofcom.org.uk/manage-your-licence/radio-broadcast-licensing/monthly-updates/radio-broadcast-update-may-2019.
Dr Hansjoerg Biener (16/6-2019)