Extensions Given

The BCI have given both CKR FM & Radio Kilkenny two month extensions to their contracts. Both stations lost their licences during the recent BCI relicensing process with CKR due to close next Monday, and Radio Kilkenny scheduled to cease on September 30th. This means that CKR, who broadcast to Carlow and Kildare, will now cease broadcasting on November 15th, and Radio Kilkenny will now cease on November 30th.

In considering the request for extensions, the BCI were mindful of the fact that there would be no broad-based dedicated local radio services for the Carlow, Kildare or Kilkenny areas following the expiry of the contracts of CKR FM and Radio Kilkenny. This is notwithstanding the fact that there are other licensed stations available in these areas. The Board also took into consideration the fact that, while the BCI is currently negotiating contracts with both the stations’ replacements – KFM (Co Kildare) and KCLR (Carlow/Kilkenny) – these have not been concluded to date.

The BCI’s Chief Executive Michael O’Keeffe said: “The Commission’s primary concern in offering contract extensions to both stations is to ensure that listeners in Kildare, Carlow and Kilkenny will continue to receive a dedicated local radio service.”

He went on to stress that the contract extensions offered to CKR FM and Radio Kilkenny were contingent upon receipt of confirmation from both stations of their acceptance of a range of conditions. “In our correspondence with both stations, we have outlined the conditions required for the continued operation of the licences”, O’Keeffe said. “In the event that these conditions are not adhered to the Commission will not proceed with the extension of contracts and the licences of CKR and Radio Kilkenny will therefore expire on September 15th and September 30th respectively.”

The conditions are that any on-air arguments or discussions about new franchises must be presented in a fair and balanced way. It is understood that the BCI have expressed dissatisfaction with the way Radio Kilkenny have carried debates in the past.