Midland radio station Kix 96 has pledged to fight on after a bid for sweeping changes to its output was kicked into touch.
The application from the Coventry-based operation to industry watchdog Ofcom was widely seen as a test case for maintaining the individuality of local radio.
Parent company CN Group wanted to change the station's output from a menu of mainly chart, reggae/soul and dance to a diet of golden oldies and a 25 per cent output of contemporary hits.
It believed that would allow it to compete better with rivals nationally and locally, but Ofcom said no on a number of grounds, including the potential impact on neighbours Mercia FM and Classic Gold 1359.
Jon Hewson, managing director of CN Radio, part of the CN Group, said: "We may have lost the battle but we've not lost the war. We'll go away and draw up a new strategy.
"We think the public is not getting the best possible service because of the range we are allowed to broadcast."
CN Radio programme director Mike Vitti said the group did win a small concession "allowing us to amend our music policy slightly, as we are now able to play selected tracks from the top 40 album chart and new releases up to nine months old."
He said the alteration to the Kix format wallowed the station to enhance its service.
A spokeswoman for Ofcom confirmed that minor changes had been allowed in the station's existing broadcast fields.
But the major alterations proposed were kicked out after a public consultation period.
The reasons given included: n The change would represent a substantial change to the character of service in that
the wording of the current format obliges Kix 96 to broadcast to identified " communities" in Coventry
* Such a change would narrow the range of services available in the Coventry area and would have the potential to impinge further on the output of Classic Gold 1359 and Mercia FM
* Insufficient evidence was provided by the applicant for Ofcom to make an assessment of format change on competition grounds
* The submission did not demonstrate demand or support for the format change among persons living in Coventry.
The decision delighted operators in the area Classic Gold 1359 FM and Mercia FM.
Mercia FM programme controller Russ Williams said: "A number of reasons were given for the decision. As far as I am concerned, for the good of commercial radio, it's best to have a broad range of stations and choice."
A spokesman for Classic Gold said the Kix proposal would have undoubtedly reduced listener choice in the Coventry market.
He was reassured that Ofcom had recognised the arguments of other commercial broadcasters in the area.
CN group operates eight stations including Belfast City Beat, The Bay in Morecambe and The Bear in Stratford.