Xfm may lose licence after £50,000 fine

Capital Radio’s alternative London rock station Xfm faces having its licence revoked by the Radio Authority if it commits another serious breach of the broadcasting code. This follows the imposition of a maximum &£50,000 fine this week.

The fine coincides with the authority’s decision to consult the radio industry on “laddishness”, the denigration of women, the protection of younger listeners and use of taboo language.

The fine imposed on Xfm is the largest the authority has ever levied and the maximum single financial penalty it can impose on a local independent radio station.

Two editions of Tom Binns’ breakfast show breached the 1990 Broadcasting Act and the Authority’s Programme Code as a result of discussions about bestiality, offensive language and references to sexual matters and pornography.

Radio Authority chairman Peter Gibbings says members of the authority were “appalled” by “obscene and unacceptable material, particularly at breakfast time,” when many children are listening.

Gibbings says: “If Xfm does not put in place effective compliance measures, then in the event of any further serious breaches it [the authority] will consider a further range of sanctions which may call into question the continuation of Xfm’s licence.”

A spokeswoman for Capital Radio says: “We regret the incidents and the fine and acknowledge their seriousness. We are working to make sure it won’t happen again.”

But she declined to say whether Binns and his team remain in place, or elaborate on possible changes to Xfm’s programming.

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