PENNINE FM has ceased broadcasting – this time for good.
The Huddersfield radio station has suffered long-term financial problems and, despite a relaunch in May, it has returned its licence to the industry regulator Ofcom.
On Monday night programme controller Jonathan Gold took to the airwaves and announced the station was closing.
Fears grew for the station when it began playing a loop of back-to-back music in April last year – in breach of its licence from Ofcom.
Although an investigation was launched, the regulator decided not to take extreme action because of a change in the management at the station.
They found that from April last year the station had resumed normal schedules with its usual mix of chat, news and a broad selection of music.
The new team at the Lockwood Park studio was headed by Adam Smith and Stevie Hall who said they were focusing the station’s efforts on Huddersfield.
Listening figures however dipped to the 20,000 mark.
The breach in its licence resulted in an admission of financial problems by the ex-owners, and the regulator agreed that because the station was in the process of changing hands it would defer judgement.
The return of its licence to Ofcom, however, suggests that the financial problems which dogged it could not be resolved.
No-one was available for comment at its offices yesterday.
On the social networking site Facebook, one member of the Pennine FM group, Dave Nightingale, wrote: “After taking over the licence in May last year – and in these days of radio from 100 miles away (aka Heart) – I desperately hoped that a station like Pennine would ride out the storm and their localness would start listeners in Huddersfield tuning away from the heritage stations in the area.”
Leeds-based insolvency specialists Begbies Traynor looked after the company when the owners announced it was in administration last year.
Pennine FM has no connection with Pennine Radio Ltd, of Fitzwilliam Street.