Today FM and Newstalk, both owned by Communicorp, have both been notified of serious breaches of contract after they introduced programming changes without prior approval by the BCI. That’s according to a report in today’s Irish Times.
Newstalk recently dropped three programmes from their schedule: Late Night Live with Declan Carty, Splanc and Culture Shock. The removal of Late Night Live has been approved by the BCI; however Newstalk have been ordered to reinstate the latter two by the end of the month on the basis of reduced diversity of programming.
In addition both stations decided to “pool” the services of reporters in their two newsrooms and to share off-peak news bulletins.
Although permission for the changes were sought by both stations, the changes had already been made at this point. This led the BCI to admonish both stations for serious breaches of contract.
Newstalk are still in discussion with the BCI about the dropped programming. They are claiming that the changes are necessary to secure the station’s future.
The BCI have accepted the reasoning behind the shared newsroom resources but will not allow the sharing of political reports.
Although the sharing of off-peak bulletins and the dropping of Late Night Live have been accepted by the BCI they will be subject to review in 12 months time.