3 December 2001
Radio Authority publishes assessment of local licence award for Pembrokeshire
The Radio Authority has today (30 November) published the details of its assessment of the local licence award for Pembrokeshire. The Authority awarded the licence to Haven FM on 8 November 2001.
A copy of the full assessment is attached.
NOTE TO EDITORS
The Radio Authority is responsible for licensing and regulating Independent Radio in accordance with the statutory requirements of the Broadcasting Acts 1990 and 1996. It plans frequencies, awards licences, regulates programming and advertising, and plays an active role in the discussion and formulation of policies which affect the Independent Radio industry and its listeners.
LOCAL LICENCE AWARD: PEMBROKESHIRE
ASSESSMENT OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION
BY HAVEN FM
Applications were invited on 21 March 2001. By the closing date of 3 July 2001, three applications were received, as follows:
Haven FM (Pembrokeshire) Ltd.
More 102 (Radio Pendragon Ltd.)
Real Radio (Pembrokeshire) Ltd.
The licence was awarded to Haven FM, to run for eight years from the date the service commences broadcasting.
Assessment of the winning application
Haven FM's proposals are based on the provision of a stand-alone 'full service' radio station for Pembrokeshire, an area which Members recognised as being a distinctive community. Members considered that Haven FM's board structure displayed a good combination of radio expertise and sound local knowledge. The group's links with the Wireless Group will enable Haven FM to outsource functions, such as commercial production and emergency engineering cover, to neighbouring Swansea Sound. Members noted the applicant's offer to implement a moratorium on the transfer of shares for three years.
Haven FM will broadcast a locally produced and presented service aimed at 25-54 year olds, 24 hours a day. Members found the group's programming proposals to be clear and coherent. Speech content will comprise a weekday daytime speech minimum of 25% which, as well as local news, travel and weather, will include weekly phone-ins, interviews and other locally relevant items. Haven FM will also carry a 30-minute Welsh language programme each day which, given the number of Welsh speakers in the area, Members considered to be appropriate. Members were pleased with the level of resources given to programme provision at weekends, which will include locally produced news bulletins of two to three minutes duration between 08.00 and 16.00/15.00 on Saturday and Sunday. Weekday bulletins will be broadcast between 07.00 and 22.00, with extended news reports during lunch and drive times. The news service will be provided by a news team of three. In addition, Haven will have a news-sharing arrangement with Swansea Sound. The music content will consist of hits from the past and present, at least 30% of which will be drawn from pre-90s recordings.
The group was formed in 1998, and has since then run four trial broadcasts in Pembrokeshire. This commitment to local radio in the area has guaranteed Haven FM a high local profile, ensuring that the group was able to demonstrate an impressive degree of local support from all sectors of the community.
Background to award
When licensing Independent Radio services, it is the duty of the Authority under the Broadcasting Act 1990 ("the Act") to do all that it can to secure the provision within the UK of a range and diversity of local services (section 85(2)(b) of the Act). Furthermore, under section 85(3) of the Act the Authority must discharge its functions in the manner which it considers is best calculated to:
(a) facilitate the provision of licensed services which (taken as a whole) are of high quality and offer a wide range of programmes calculated to appeal to a variety of tastes and interests; and
(b) ensure fair and effective competition in the provision of such services and services connected with them.
Under section 105 of the Act, the matters to which the Authority shall have regard when determining whether, or to whom, to grant a local licence are:
(a) the ability of each applicant to maintain the proposed service throughout the licence period;
(b) the extent to which the proposed service would cater for the tastes and interests of persons living in the area or locality for which the service would be provided, and, where it is proposed to cater for any particular tastes and interests of such persons, the extent to which the service would so cater;
(c) the extent to which the proposed service would broaden the range of programmes available by way of local services to persons living in the relevant area or locality, and, in particular, the extent to which the service would cater for tastes and interests which are different from those already catered for by existing local services in the area; and
(d) the extent to which any application is supported by persons living in that area.
While the requirements of sections 85 and 105 of the Broadcasting Act 1990 will invariably form the basis of all awards, each licence award will be made on an individual basis, with regard to the factors which, in the view of the Authority, are particularly relevant to that case.
When it advertised the availability of the Pembrokeshire local licence the Authority invited public comment on the local radio needs of listeners in this area, and the type of programme service required. Copies of the non-confidential sections of the applications were made available for public inspection in the main public libraries in Haverfordwest, Fishguard and Pembroke Dock and at the Authority’s offices in London. A notice was issued on 3 July 2001 inviting public comments on the applications. The Authority took all replies into account when reaching its decision.
All of the applications have been considered carefully by the Authority in accordance with the Act, and as against the advertised criteria set out in the Authority’s Notes of Guidance for Local Licence Applicants and the coverage brief for this licence, issued at the date of the licence advertisement. The applicants were invited to respond to written questions on programming, audience and support, and finance. Telephone interviews were conducted on the composition and history of the applicant groups.
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