RADIO station Metro Broadcast yesterday received a strong warning from the Broadcasting Authority for failing to fulfil licensing conditions. Broadcasting Authority chairman Sir Roger Lobo said Metro had overlooked provisions in its licence when it dropped its 24-hour news channel in favour of new programming schedules. ''We have been monitoring Metro's new format, Metro Plus, which replaced Metro News in early May and they have simply fallen out of line. ''There have been changes in people and they have gone from 24-hour news to more music. However, they have not broadcast programmes they said they would, which is not in line with their licence. So they have been warned to maintain conditions under whichthey are allowed to operate,'' Sir Roger said. Hongkong's first 24-hour news service was axed in early May amid financial problems, and was replaced by a music-based format called Metro News Plus with only five hours of news a day at peak listening times. A statement issued by the Broadcasting Authority said members had considered Metro Broadcast's failure to broadcast the stipulated amount of news and weather programmes as required under its licence. Metro Plus channel director Kelly Dean said last night the authority had notified Metro of programming oversights on June 20 and three days later licensing conditions were met. ''Basically we neglected two conditions regarding the timing and length of news-casts that are stipulated in our licence. Instead of broadcasting 10 minute bulletins on Saturdays and Sundays we ran the news for only three minutes. ''And we weren't broadcasting news at the bottom of the hour between 6 am and midnight as stipulated in our licence. No-one is perfect and we made a couple of oversights which have since been rectified. ''We are now broadcasting news at the stipulated times and for the stipulated length and although we may inadvertently forget some bulletins, I'm confident the Broadcasting Authority will have no cause to issue further warnings,'' Mr Dean said. Mr Dean said the station was committed to maintaining a news service for its listeners. Director-general of the Office of the Telecommunications Authority and a member of the Broadcasting Authority, Alexander Arena, said: ''I understand Metro have every intention to comply with conditions but if warnings weren't heeded the Authority would have to look at specifics before deciding on further warnings or the revoking of licences.'' Postmaster-General Michael Pagliari said there was no standard stipulating the number of warnings issued. ''It depends on the seriousness of the offence, as you must realise broadcasters are constantly cautioned for one thing or another. ''Basically, complaints are analysed and in extreme cases the ultimate penalty would be the loss of licence. But that would be considered a very serious remedy,'' Mr Pagliari said. Despite the warning and the aftermath of early May's redundancies - which hit staff at all three Metro Broadcast channels - Mr Dean said he was pleased with the new format and staff morale was good. ''Metro Plus is sounding better all the time and as far as I can see the staff are happy. I don't think people are walking around talking about quitting - although if they were I'd be worried,'' he said.