ACMA rules that 2Day FM licence will not depend on not demeaning women after all

Australia’s media watchdog has toned down the tough conditions it said it would be putting on radio station 2DayFM’s licence following Kyle Sandilands’ on air attack on a female journalist last last year.

When the Australian Communications and Media Authority published its findings earlier this year, it said that it would be imposing a new condition of the 2Day FM licence. As well as making it a specific licence condition that the station complied with the radio code of practice guidelines on not offending generally accepted standards of decency, it also said it would introduce the following new condition:

The Licensee must not broadcast material that demeans or is reasonably likely to demean:

• women or girls generally; and/or

• any woman or girl in particular.

• When referring to women or girls generally or any woman or girl in particular in broadcast material, the Licensee must not place undue emphasis on gender, use overt sexual references in relation to a woman’s physical characteristics and/or condone or incite violence against women.

Station owner Southern Cross Austereo had claimed that the rule was too vague.

Today, ACMA put out a short announcement which reveals that the new condition has been withdrawn, although it does not explain why it had the change of heart. It said: “The licensee has had an opportunity to make representations to the ACMA and the ACMA’s action follows consideration of those representations.”

A further condition that the station implement a training programme for staff remains.

A statement from Southern Cross Austereo CEO, Rhys Holleran said, “Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) acknowledges today’s decision by ACMA and is reviewing all available options. SCA finds the decision broad reaching and its lengthy term unprecedented. SCA believes ACMA has not fully taken into consideration the extensive processes and procedures that the business has taken upon itself to implement with regards to comments made by Kyle Sandilands on 22 November 2011.”


  1. Whooooa!
    16 May 12
    2:01 pm

  2. Hasn’t the horse already bolted? Slam the barn door shut Rusty!

  3. Blake Murdoch
    16 May 12
    2:25 pm

  4. The ACMA does not agree with the notion that this licence condition has been “toned down.”

    From Chris Chapman, ACMA Chairman:

    “I cannot recall in recent memory a more widely framed licence condition on an Australian broadcaster.

    “The Authority felt that this was the tightest licence condition that can be imposed on this licensee concerning matters of decency; and is 24/7, for five years, no exceptions.

    “Further, it is a provision that is both responsive to the licensee’s submissions and with an eye to any future litigation should the licensee seek to challenge the licence condition.”

    Blake Murdoch
    Media Officer

  5. The ACMA
    16 May 12
    2:52 pm

  6. “I cannot recall in recent memory a more widely framed licence condition on an Australian broadcaster,” the Australian Communications and Media Authority Chairman, Chris Chapman, said today.

    Full statement at

  7. Rob
    16 May 12
    2:56 pm

  8. Gutless ACMA

  9. Richard Moss
    16 May 12
    3:03 pm

  10. This sort of thing makes me cringe just a little.

    “When referring to women or girls…the Licensee must not place undue emphasis on gender”
    So it states, as it places its own undue emphasis on gender.

    In terms of decency, nobody should place “undue” emphasis on either gender. When it comes to writing and/or speaking publicly about the world in which we live, including the people in it, there will be recognisable traits and characteristics attached to not only gender, but race, religion, social standing and the available power or monetary credits of any one or any number of individuals.

    It is the duty of all who write, broadcast or speak in public, to stand above that kind of personal or individual attack upon our fellows. Something of which we should all be aware.

    As in the theatre, the tension and the dynamics should be created by knowing where the edge is, not by stepping over it.

    ” ‘should not’ use overt sexual references in relation to a woman’s physical characteristics and/or condone or incite violence against women.”

    Again, nobody should use overt sexual reference or incite violence against anyone, why emphasise the gender?

    Once we get beyond nappy training and solid food, we progress to becoming sexual beings, this has been going on for millions of years. Grow up and learn your behavioural manners.
    In my opinion this is elementary, or it should be.

    If anyone is offended by the statements made under a code of conduct agreement, then they are at liberty to complain and/or to pursue an action at law, should that be desired.

  11. Meljay
    16 May 12
    7:24 pm

  12. I agree. Gutless ACMA

    Gender matters. When men’s boobs and bums are displayed, commented on, ridiculed, and judged as pervasively as has been the case in relation to women, with slobbering pathetic nitwits using lame, gratuitous sexual references or misogynist outbursts, we can worry about men’s rights too. This rule doesn’t make it okay to demean men, it’s just, strangely, not a big deal. If we support respect for women, then blokes benefit from a higher standard anyway. It’s okay to support women. White ribbon day addresses violence against women, but shall we worry about leaving men out?

  13. Garry Wilson
    17 May 12
    7:25 am

  14. I think the point has been made. Southern Cross will keep close tabs on Kyle. Job done!

  15. Kate
    17 May 12
    9:03 am

  16. They are advertising at the moment for a new Executive Producer. Can you imagine taking on that job? No pressure at all….

  17. Groucho
    17 May 12
    9:34 am

  18. ACMA are a waste of space, oxygen, and skin. Not a waste of guts though, they don’t have any. This bunch of yes people are no more than a rubber stamp for the media to do what they want.