Thursday, November 14, 2013

Is it back to pirate radio for black Britons?

We set up the station to fill a cultural void. Rebranding it as Capital Xtra is a betrayal that takes us back to the 1980s, writes Neil Kenlock, who helped start Choice FM, on The Guardian website.

"If you took a walk down any south London street in the early 1990s, the slogan "London's soul power" could be heard booming with pride from passing car stereos, at local youth centres and in businesses too. This sense of community empowerment and embracing our black British identity was the vision we had as the founders of Choice FM, Britain's first successful radio station granted a licence to cater for the black community.

Now this dream lies in tatters after the station's current owners, Global Radio, effectively killed it off by turning it into Capital Xtra – leaving Britain with no black station with a commercial licence. After this announcement last month, there was a huge backlash from listeners outraged about the change of name and of programme format, including the sacking of popular DJs. And now broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has said it will monitor the station before deciding whether to launch a formal investigation."

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