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Obit Procedure

Below is an example of an obit procedure - credit to Spark Sunderland.


Obit is a procedure to follow in the following example circumstances:

  • A senior royal passes away
  • A senior government figure passes away
  • There is a serious terrorist incident

An obit procedure is invoked to significantly change the station output in response to major current news events. Music, sweepers, links by presenters would all change.

The example below shows a full scale Stage 1 obit mode and Stage 2 obit mode when music policy and presenters/content may change somewhat.

PEOPLE IT APPLIES TOO Stage 1 Obit (Full Scale):

  • The Queen
  • Current UK Prime Minister
  • Current US President
  • Prince Charles
  • Prince William
  • Prince George
  • Prince Harry
  • Major UK attack or disaster involving large loss of life

Stage 2 Obit: Major international attack or disaster involving large loss of life

  • Duchess of Cambridge
  • Prince Phillip
  • Prince Andrew
  • Princess Anne
  • Prince Edward
  • Princess Charlotte


  • In the event of a major death, it is VERY important that you follow the below procedure carefully AND DO NOT announce any news yourself.
  • Firstly, if you have read rumours of a death, major incident or loss of life or terrorist attack online, DO NOT ANNOUNCE ANYTHING.
  • The on duty Senior News Reporter is likely to know first, so they would possibly inform you of the news. However, you should inform the SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM AND THE SENIOR NEWS TEAM of any rumours online or if any news has been confirmed.
  • You should both open Burli on the PC to check for any announcement. If a death has happened, Burli will display a News Flash; you can check this in the Snap/Flash section of the IRN wire in Burli.
  • Once IRN/Sky has confirmed a death, they will likely do a network update via IRN fader to confirm the news.

Once Burli has confirmed an announcement, do the following:

  • STOP. Don’t panic. Keep calm. Put sweepers between the next couple of songs; put the desk into automation and DO NOT put the microphone fader up until instructed otherwise. FROM THIS MOMENT, YOUR PROGRAMME AND PREVIOUSLY PLANNED CONTENT HAS EFFECTIVELY ENDED.
  • CHECK. Make sure any songs within the next hour do not contain inappropriate references or titles to death.
  • RING. Once the desk is in automation, make the SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM AND THE SENIOR NEWS TEAM aware of the situation. If they are not in the building at the time, call them immediately.
  • Once you’ve done these three things, do not leave the studio until senior members of the management team have arrived.
  • THERE IS A HOTKEY BANK CALLED OBIT, which contains 2 half hour blocks of specifically selected songs for this situation. Please add these for FOLLOWING the announcement only.
  • The news will be announced via IRN, and Burli will provide a specific time they will break the news. There will be a standard cue read by the presenter, member of news team or member of the management team.
  • Following the first announcement the management, programming and news teams will discuss how we handle coverage further and decide on next step (For example (special programmes or rolling news updates.)


Station Manager Jane Doe 1235 111 222
Compliance Manager Joe Bloggs 2345 333 444
Programme Director Jane Smith 3456 777 888
Head of Content, Community & Planning / Senior News Reporter Jenny Wren 4567 888 999
Head of Music & Production John Doe 4567 222 111
Acting Head of News Peggy Sue 5678 444 555

Other examples from community radio stations

Useful links:

We will endeavour to keep these pages updated as and when guidance and information changes.

obit_procedure.txt · Last modified: 2021/03/20 16:07 by cma_admin