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Chorley FM: not for the LGBT community any more?

By James Cridland for media.info
Posted 29 January 2015, 6.24am est

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Chorley FM in Lancashire has applied to Ofcom to change its key commitments.

The current community that Chorley FM is licensed to serve is "young people (15-25) and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community of Chorley". The station wishes to change this to simply refer to anyone that lives, works and studies in the town.

"It was a mistake", says the station in their application, "to assume the [music] taste of our audience was linked to their age".

Their request to change their commitments repeatedly makes the point that it is difficult to focus solely on LGBT people. "It is simply not possible to include a wide range of LGBT related topics across the schedule as there are not enough LGBT guests or contributors available for even a small range of topics to be discussed", the station says.

The full request is published on the Ofcom site[pdf] and Ofcom are consulting about the changes, since they believe they would 'substantially alter the character of service' of the station.

Press release

Ofcom has today published a consultation following a request by Chorley FM, which holds a community radio licence for Chorley, Lancashire, to make changes to its key commitments.

Chorley FM wishes to make a number of changes, including to the community it serves, its ‘character of service’, ‘programming’ and ‘social gain objectives’.

A request for a key commitments change can only be approved by Ofcom if it satisfies at least one of the five criteria set out in the Broadcasting Act 1990.

A consultation document is published on Ofcom’s website. The consultation closes on 25 February 2015.

More information

102.8 Chorley FM
Chorley & South Lancashire
James Cridland — James is the Managing Director of media.info, and a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. His website is at james.cridland.net, where you can subscribe to his weekly newsletter.
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