Digital Spy reports that UK communications regulator Ofcom has agreed to a format change for LBC News 1152, which requested permission to simulcast with its FM station on 97.3 outside the hours of 7am - 7 pm (Sat 6 pm, Sun 5 pm). Global Radio chief executive Richard Park told Ofcom that providing a 24 hour rolling news service is “not sustainable” on radio in London.
Part of Richard Park’s submission to Ofcom reads: “The station’s appeal is further diminished by its presence on AM, a platform which is likely to see further ongoing decline as audiences move increasingly to digital platforms. It is during the overnight hours, when we wish to simulcast, that the AM signal is at its weakest [sic] and most vulnerable to incoming interference.”
Andy Sennitt comments: This is yet another AM station in Europe which is suffering from the decline in advertising spend. AM stations are the first to suffer when advertisers reduce their budgets. I can remember in the early days of LBC, I believe it was 1976, when overnight broadcasting was cancelled due to poor advertising sales.
On the last night of the phone-in show Nightline the late Adrian Love took a call from a businessman who rattled off various aspects of LBC’s listener profile that he said made it unattractive to advertisers. Adrian Love responded by telling him “the audience profile of LBC is within plus or minus 3 percent of the profile of the entire population of the Greater London area. So if you don’t like LBC, you don’t like London.” I thought that was a brilliant riposte.