ACMA impose 2Day license condition

At 11am today ACMA released their final ruling on the introduction of a second license condition on 2Day FM following comments Kyle Sandilands made in November about a journalist.

ACMA have formally applied a second license condition to 2Day FM which amends the codes 'decency' requirement, and makes it a formal condition of the 2Day FM broadcasting license. The condition only applies to 2Day FM, however it does apply to all programs on that station, and will be in place for five years.

The specific code referred to says, in part:  ‘program content must not offend generally accepted standards of decency…having regard to the demographic characteristics of the audience of the relevant program’.
 
Southern Cross Austereo have subsequently released a statement from CEO Rhys Holleran that says:

 
“Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) acknowledges today’s decision by ACMA and is reviewing all available options. SCA finds the decision broad reaching and its lengthy term unprecedented. SCA believes ACMA has not fully taken into consideration the extensive processes and procedures that the business has taken upon itself to implement with regards to comments made by Kyle Sandilands on 22 November 2011"
 
You can read the ACMA release in full below:

The ACMA imposes licence condition on 2DAY FM

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has imposed an additional licence condition on the broadcasting licence of 2DAY, Today FM Sydney Pty Ltd, the licensee of 2DAY FM.

Following an investigation of the Kyle and Jackie O Show broadcast in November 2011, the ACMA found that Kyle Sandilands’ comments about a female journalist were deeply derogatory and offensive, and amounted to a breach of the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice 2011 (the codes).

The ACMA announced on 27 March 2012, that it had given the licensee a ‘Notice of intention to impose an additional licence condition.’ The licensee has had an opportunity to make representations to the ACMA and the ACMA’s action follows consideration of those representations.

The additional condition elevates the codes’ decency requirement to a condition on the broadcaster’s licence. The relevant code requirement is that ‘program content must not offend generally accepted standards of decency…having regard to the demographic characteristics of the audience of the relevant program’.

The licence condition is not confined to broadcasts by Mr Sandilands of the Kyle & Jackie O Show – it applies to all content broadcast by 2DAY for five years.

Further information about licence conditions is available on the ACMA website.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7719, 0434 652 063 or media@acma.gov.au.

Backgrounder

ACMA conducts investigations under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BSA).

The ACMA’s powers
The ACMA has a range of powers intended to enable it to deal effectively with breaches of the rules, including the codes developed under the BSA.

For example, where there has been a breach of the commercial radio codes, the ACMA may accept an enforceable undertaking for the purpose of securing future compliance with the codes or may impose an additional licence condition under section 43 of the BSA.

Before an additional licence condition can be imposed the ACMA first needs to give the licensee written notice of its intention to impose the licence condition; the licensee must be given a reasonable opportunity to make representations to the ACMA in relation to the proposed condition and the proposed condition must be published in the Commonwealth Gazette. The licensee can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of an ACMA’s decision to impose a licence condition.

If an additional licence condition is imposed and the licensee breaches that condition, then as alternatives to suspending or cancelling the licence, the ACMA has power to issue a remedial direction requiring compliance. In the event that the licensee does not comply with a remedial direction, the ACMA may:

pursue a civil penalty in the Federal Court
refer the matter for prosecution to the DPP as an offence; or
at any time, accept an enforceable undertaking (including provisions dealing with compliance with a code).

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