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Galaxy fined £2,500 for foul-mouthed rant with child

LONDON - Galaxy Radio Manchester has been fined £2,500 for breaching broadcasting rules on offensive language, taste and decency, protecting younger listeners at breakfast time and seeking to elicit views from a child.

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The item in question concerned a male, calling himself "Irish Frank", who phoned into the show advocating physical harm to women. His call was taped and then repeated in October last year. The presenters, while not condoning this, spoke jokingly about wishing to inflict violence on the caller and they both used offensive language.

The presenters then took a call from a 12-year-old girl live on air who commented on what she heard, calling Irish Frank a "fucking wanker". One of the presenters also said that he could be better described as "Irish Wank".

Galaxy described itself as an "edgy" station with a local target audience of 15- to 34-year-olds and vigorously defended its distinctive position within its market as dealing with a wide range of hard and soft issues.

It did, however, admit it had breached sections of the broadcasting code and apologised for the failures in editorial content.

The committee felt strongly that the broadcaster's production team did not appear to be used to handling such situations, and if they wanted to be "edgy" there were responsibilities that accompanied this.

Ofcom concluded that the code breaches were sufficiently serious to be sanctionable and concluded that a financial penalty would be appropriate, but at the lower end of the scale.

It is the second time this week that the regulator has levied a fine on a broadcaster for breaching programming rules. Earlier this week, it fined a porn channel £50,000 for broadcasting unencrypted trailers on Freeview.

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