Ofcom approves Kiss request to drop local news

Broadcast regulator Ofcom has approved a request by Bauer Radio for Kiss FM to drop local news and other programming on three analogue stations and become a national service.

Ofcom’s Radio Licensing Committee ruled this week that Kiss 100 (Greater London), Kiss 101 (Severn Estuary) and Kiss 105 (East of England) could replace their local content with a single networked service.

The regulator ruled that turning off local content would not result in a substantial change to the character of the music-led services – and likely heralding the merger of the three analogue services into a single station.

Ofcom said Kiss must be carried in 35 DAB multiplex areas from the day its local programming is turned off. Bauer must then extend broadcast of Kiss to all 38 DAB areas in the UK within three months of that date.

Should Bauer fail to provide coverage across 38 DAB local areas, Ofcom said, the requirement for Kiss to again supply local content would be reintroduced.

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