Sunday, 25 July 2010

Off The Air

Off the air or how stupid can you get? It was just before eight in the morning many years ago and I was covering a break in the engineers room (MCR) when the hot line rang.  It was the IBA (Independent Broadcasting Authority) who at that time looked after the transmitters.  The bloke at the other end of the phone said to me "It's the IBA at Croydon here, we want to do a quick bit of work on the transmitter and will be taking you off the air just after eight o'clock for about 10 minutes."  I said "You can't do that we are in the middle of breakfast."  he replied "That's why we are doing it now before nine o'clock and everyone's at work."

He had no idea that breakfast was our highest audience, he thought he was doing us a favour by switching the the transmitter off before nine - 'when everyone would be at work.'  Needless to say he didn't get his way.  But that kinda summed up the relationship the IBA had with local radio then.

Things are much better, the meddling is less but I still feel OFCOM need a much lighter touch.  OFCOM  remind me a bit of the old remit of the Lord Chaberlain's Office who would ban public performances of plays if he thought they were too naughty.  They are our unelected censor and whose benevolent rule we could well do without?

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