The Radio Authority has finally bowed to pressure from the Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA), including new automation guidelines in its programme code for the first time, writes Georgina Lipscomb.
The guidelines now form part of a revised programme code which, along with a revised news and current affairs code, has been put out to consultation this week. The authority had originally issued a decree on automation (prerecorded material) during daytime without consulting licence owners, to the anger of the CRCA.

The proposals state FM stations should be limited to two hours of automated output during daytime, while AM stations should be limited to four. However, the authority has suggested that FM stations with an potential audience of fewer than 50,000 can broadcast four hours in daytime.

Other main changes to the programme code, which has not been revised for three years, concern song lyrics, wind-up calls and competitions.

Key changes to the news and current affairs code, revised for the first time in seven years, include the implementation of new guidelines on elections and the Terrorism Act 2000.

The new codes are expected to be implemented by the end of the year.