Ofcom minded to approve Key Commitment changes for B Radio Farnborough

B Radio in Farnborough has requested to change its Key Commitments to appeal to an older demographic.

The station, operated by Rush FM Limited, wants to change its character of service so that the target community is “under-40s who live, work and study in Farnborough and surrounding areas” instead of “under-30s who live, work and study in Farnborough and surrounding areas”.

It also wants to change its music output requirement from “mainstream music from the 1990s to present day, with some music from the 1980s. Specialist music will also feature, including a specialist dance music show, an urban music show and specific decades music shows” to “mainstream music from the past few decades to present day. Specialist music will also feature, including a dance and urban music show”.

B Radio also wants to remove the requirement to broadcast travel news, reduce its original output requirement from 84 hours per week to 44 hours per week, and reduce its locally-produced output requirement from 42 hours per week to 30 hours per week.

B Radio in Reading also changed its Key Commitments last year to reduce local and original hours to a similar level.

Ofcom thinks the proposed change to the music requirement represents a minor alteration which will give the station more flexibility, and the requirement to broadcast travel news is not a significant aspect of the overall character of the service, and that removing this requirement is therefore unlikely to substantially alter the character of the service.

“We also recognise that the station is facing a difficult climate for retaining and recruiting volunteers, and that providing this additional flexibility in resource management will allow the station to increase its focus on recruiting and training new volunteers. We consider that the proposed new required hours should be sufficient to enable the station to continue to comply with its character of service.”

Ofcom has taken a preliminary view on the request and is minded to approve the Key Commitment changes requested by the Licensee.

A consultation is now open for four weeks, closing at 5pm on Monday 25 March 2024.