Bauer Radio slapped with £25,000 fine by Ofcom for ending Absolute Radio AM service too soon


Bauer Radio has been hit with a £25,000 fine by Ofcom for ending its national AM service Absolute Radio before the end of its license period.

Absolute Radio launched – as Virgin Radio – in 1993, and the licence was most recently renewed for a period of ten years in May 2021.

However, on January 26 this year, Bauer confirmed that it would be turning off the Absolute Radio AM service.

The service will continue to broadcast nationally via digital audio broadcasting.

Watchdog Ofcom said: “Under section 111(4) of the Broadcasting Act 1990, if Ofcom is satisfied that the holder of a licence to provide a national service has ceased to provide the service before the end of the licence period and it is appropriate to do so, it must revoke the licence.

“Ofcom therefore revoked the licence on February 13, 2023.

“Under section 101(3) of the Broadcasting Act 1990, where Ofcom revokes a national licence, it must require the licence holder to pay it a financial penalty.

“The maximum penalty that can be imposed on Bauer in these circumstances is the greater of £250,000 and 7% of its qualifying revenue in its last complete accounting period within the term of the licence. In this case the maximum penalty is £250,000.

“Having taken account of all the relevant material in this case and having regard to Ofcom’s Penalty Guidelines, Ofcom has imposed a financial penalty of £25,000 on Bauer Radio.”

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