Ofcom has fined Bauer Radio £25,000 after it stopped broadcasting Absolute Radio’s national AM service before the end of its licence period, the watchdog said.
The licence was most recently renewed for a period of 10 years from May 2021, however on January 26 this year the station confirmed it had “ceased to provide” the Absolute Radio AM service.
The media regulator said it was forced to revoke the stations national licence on February 13 under the Broadcasting Act 1990, and as a result Bauer Media has to pay a financial penalty.
📣 We have today fined Bauer Radio £25,000 after it stopped broadcasting Absolute Radio’s national AM service before the end of its licence period.
Read more about our decision here: https://t.co/IMG2UoFcNT
— Ofcom (@Ofcom) June 1, 2023
A statement from Ofcom said the maximum penalty is £250,000, but “having taken account of all the relevant material in this case” it has imposed a penalty of £25,000 payable to HM Paymaster General.
The UK watchdog said it has been told Absolute Radio “will continue to broadcast nationally on DAB”.
Absolute Radio was launched as Virgin Radio in 1993 and the licence has been renewed four times.
Ofcom said on December 2 last year Bauer informed the regulator that it intended to cease provision of the licensed service, explaining the decision was “based on the declining audience for the station on AM and the rising costs of transmission”.
Bauer has been contacted for comment.