by Adam Cromarty
One of Scotland’s smallest, yet most talked about radio stations faces strong action after a breaching the license they hold for North Lanarkshire.
Whilst L107 remains to hold a small audience reach, they have received much attention from those who live in the area to which it broadcasts and those work in the Scottish radio industry. This follows various changes in ownership, the alleged theft of its main transmitter and outrageous tag-lines such as ‘The one everyones listening to’ and ‘Scotland’s biggest and best radio station’.
During the past few years, the Lanarkshire licence has been rescued on many occasions by a variety of radio faces including ex Radio 1 DJ Mark Page and tartan ‘shock-jock’ Scottie McClue (aka Colin Lamont) who reportedly put up and lost £100’000 of his own money to fund the station. Most recently and following the suspension of Mr Lamont’s business partner Alan Shields, John Prendergast of Creative Media stepped in on the 22nd of February and is recognised the current owner of the license.
After a short spell of fruitful output, the focus soon shifted to the lack of local news. This is something all local stations must provide as a part of their licence agreement.
Following on from the change in control and acting upon complaints made, broadcasting watchdog Ofcom recently undertook a content sampling investigation. During the first three days in August, the regulatory body found that station delivers “far more locally produced content than is required by the format”. However, they also reported that they local news was “problematic” and whilst the station did run more bulletins than was required, the level of repetition was found to be unacceptable with the same bulletin being used 16 times. L107 was found to be in breach of license.
At the time of writing, L107 has been off-air for six days with listeners able to hear a back-up CD on one of the stations two frequencies and the other is simply broadcasting dead air.