150/02

21 November 2002

 

 

 

Radio Authority publishes assessment of re-advertised local licence award for North London

The Radio Authority has today (21 November) published the details of its assessment of the re-advertised local licence award for North London. The Authority re-awarded the licence to London Turkish Radio on 7 November 2002.

A copy of the full assessment is attached.

 

ENDS

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.

 

 

RE-ADVERTISED LICENCE AWARD: NORTH LONDON

ASSESSMENT OF SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION BY

LONDON TURKISH RADIO

 

Applications for the re-advertised licence for an area of North London, focusing upon Haringey and surrounding boroughs, were invited on 2 May 2002. By the closing date of 6 August 2002, two applications were received, from:

London Turkish Radio (Turkish Radio (UK) Ltd.), the existing licence holder.

Turk Radio Ltd.

The licence was re-awarded to London Turkish Radio, to run for a further period of eight years from 17 August 2003, on 7 November.

Assessment of the application

Authority Members considered that London Turkish Radio (LTR) had presented cogent plans for the future of the licence and an application which competently addressed the criteria for a licence award.

LTR proposes to continue its wide-ranging and inclusive ‘full service’ station for the Turkish, Turkish Cypriot, Kurdish and Azeri communities, which are well represented within the population in this part of North London. LTR’s service has successfully catered for the tastes and interests of that Turkish- speaking community, as evidenced by the satisfaction levels quoted in the audience survey commissioned by the station. LTR proposes relatively few adjustments to its format, and will continue to provide a music-led service with an emphasis on news and information, as well as educational and cultural programming. The main alteration to its current service which is planned for the new licence period is a reduction in the level of daytime speech, although the obligations to provide specific speech programmes in the station format will increase. The speech output will also feature a possible increase in the level of English programming in an attempt to cater for the station's younger listeners. LTR's news service consists of IRN news reports followed by an hourly home-mixed news service from 0700 to 0000 hrs (from 0800 at weekends) with bulletins of between 3 and 8 minutes' duration, using material drawn from TRT and BRT, the national broadcasters for Turkey and Northern Cyprus, IRN and a variety of local news sources with whom LTR has established relationships. Members recognised that the variety of speech programming provided by LTR was appreciated by its audience. The station will continue to broadcast a mix of Turkish music which will include its three most popular genres, 'Turkish classical', 'Turkish folk' and 'Turkish pop', as well as Azeri, Kurdish and Arabesque music.

Members noted that LTR is a well-established company with a committed board, which has recently started to achieve revenue growth at the station. The group has long experience in providing a service to its community, and was able to demonstrate support for its service from local businesses as well as a range of charitable and educational organisations.

Background

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 interest 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 and re-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.

The existing licence for the North London (Haringey) area, held by London Turkish Radio Ltd., expires on 16 August 2003. The licence was 'pre-advertised' in March 2002 under the provisions of the 'special application procedure' introduced in the 1996 Broadcasting Act. Two 'declarations of intent to apply' were received, and therefore the licence was fully re-advertised. The Authority invited public comment on the local radio needs of listeners in the 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 reference section of Wood Green Library, and at the Authority’s offices in London. A notice was issued on 6 August 2002 inviting public comments on the applications. The Authority took all replies into account when reaching its decision.

The applications were 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 (Re-advertised Licences) and the coverage brief for this licence, issued at the date of the licence re-advertisement.

 

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Revised: November 21, 2002