ACMA finds Kyle breached decency

Staff Writer

ACMA has this morning released its findings into the Kyle Sandliands incident on 22 November last year when he criticised a female journalist.

They have found that Sandilands comments were deeply derogatory and offensive and were a breach of the Commercial Radio Codes of Practise. ACMA has said that they have now commenced formal steps to impose a second license condition on 2Day FM to prohibit the station from broadcasting indecent content, or content that demeans females.

ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman said "The Authority found the comments by Mr Sandilands deeply derogatory and offensive and, in all the circumstances, a licence condition is the appropriate response"

ACMA also found that the comments did not breach the code prohibition on inciting serious contempt or severe ridicule on the grounds of gender. This was because, although the comments conveyed hatred, serious contempt and severe ridicule on the grounds of gender, they were not considered likely to ‘incite’ those feelings in others.

The ACMA also found that the program material was not likely to incite, encourage or present for its own sake violence or brutality.

In response to this incident, 2DAY-FM has indicated that it has introduced several safeguards, including:

  • Instructing Mr Sandilands and his management of the sort of remarks that are unacceptable and must not be repeated
  • Extending the broadcast delay for the program from 10 seconds to 30 seconds
  • Installing a warning light system in the Sydney (and Los Angeles) studios to allow production staff and content advisers to notify announcers when content may be of concern

If 2DAY-FM does not comply with its additional licence condition, the ACMA may take further action including:

  • Give a remedial direction
  • Impose a further additional condition
  • Accept an enforceable undertaking or
  • Suspend or cancel the licence

ACMA has no powers to ‘fine’ 2DAY-FM or take any action directly against any talent employed by the licensee.

Southern Cross Austereo have released a statement this morning saying, in part, that should the final license conditions be 'onerous' that they will pursue all available remedies to have the condition revoked. 

CEO Rhys Holleran said "Our difficulty with the proposed license condition is that terms such as 'decency', 'demeaning' and 'undue emphasis on gender'' are broad and ambiguous and means different things to different people……we consider the condition to be unworkable"


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