Chris Moyles looks a bit fed up doesn’t he? I’m not suprised really, he’s been accused of being racist and homophobic in the past couple and of weeks and now he’s had an Ofcom adjudication levelled against him. Being Radio 1’s breakfast presenter is always going to make you a strong target and any, er, slips will be relished by the right-wing press.
However, as the adjudication points out, Radio 1 hasn’t got much goodwill left in the regulatory bonus bank. There’s been a number of breaches and Ofcom isn’t happy. The interesting thing is to wonder what will happen next. With commercial broadcasters a simple fine can be given, and it seems that there’s going to be one coming Kiss’s way soon.
It’s a little more difficult for the BBC though. If Ofcom fines the corporation the only people it really hurts are the licence fee payers. If they’re ordered to pay £100k, for example, that just means £100k of licence fee payers money doesn’t get spent on programmes and goes straight into the goverenment’s coffers. This causes huge problems for both the BBC and Ofcom as the press coverage would be merciless.
I think the scapegoat is going to be ‘presenter fines’ – as alluded to by Andy Parfitt. This way any Ofcom fine can be handed over directly to the presenter, thus not harming budgets or licence-fee payers. It also makes a nice story about the BBC ‘getting tough’ with errant jocks.
However the cynic in me would probably guess that any ‘fines’ will soon be won back by extra cover shifts or event ‘fees’, as the presenter-in-question will no doubt have a contracted minimum earnings level that the BBC will have to hit.