Arising from media coverage over recent days, the BAI is aware of reportage of a statement issued by Communicorp Group in respect of prohibiting contributors from The Irish Times from appearing on any of its radio stations.
Through its subsidiaries, Communicorp Group holds contracts for five sound broadcasting services with the BAI: two national services, Newstalk FM and Today FM; two music-based services operating in Dublin city and county, 98FM and Spin 1038; and, a regional, music-driven service for the south-west, Spin South West. Each contract contains a Programme Policy Statement setting out the nature of the service to be provided and detailing a range of programming commitments.
As the regulator for the broadcasting sector, the BAI is committed to the facilitation of a mix of voices, opinions and sources of news and current affairs.
In line with its legislative remit, the BAI does not have a role in the individual editorial decisions of broadcasters. However, as the statement issued by Communicorp Group (as reported) relates to the group of services that it owns, the BAI will now write to Communicorp Group to clarify a number of matters in respect of editorial independence and the contractual commitments of individual services.
Furthermore, the Authority will consider the matter at its next meeting, scheduled to take place on the 19th October.
The BAI has not been contacted by Communicorp Group on this matter.
The BAI will not be making any further comment while this engagement is underway.