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Keep your local radio local

When

Tuesday 2 July 2019

18.00

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Where

Committee Room 12, Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA

Details

in terms of ratings and revenue commercial radio is booming, but owing to Ofcom’s deregulation of FM licence conditions, Global, which owns Capital, Heart and Smooth, is axing local breakfast and drive-time shows. Studios will close in towns and cities from Kent to Kendal and more than 100 presenters, producers, journalists, engineers and other staff face losing their jobs.

Come along and join the fight to keep local radio news local.

Chair: John Grogan MP

Speakers:

  • Kevin Brennan MP (shadow DCMS minister)
  • Martin Campbell (former adviser to OfCom),
  • Frances Rafferty (NUJ)
  • David John (Equity)

Go to Cromwell Green visitor entrance and give yourself 20 minutes to clear security -- tell them you are going to an event in Committee Room 12. More information about visiting Parliament.

The Federation of Entertainment Unions statement:

“These changes have been made following the unnecessary decision by Ofcom to deregulate the conditions for local FM licences (by, for example, reducing the minimum amount of local programming from seven a day to just three), at a time when local radio is thriving, with growing audiences and local advertising revenues.

“Many hundreds of local radio presenters, producers and journalists now face an uncertain future. The replacement of local voices and programmes with more content centrally produced from London, far away from the communities they serve, will have a detrimental impact on media industries across the UK. In the context of cuts to journalists’ jobs and closures of local newspapers, this will add to the serious decline in local news for UK citizens.*

“These ill-considered changes have taken place without adequate Parliamentary scrutiny of their potential effect on local jobs and in an industry without a recognised trade union, and the FEU supports calls for an urgent review of the decision by Ofcom.”

The Local Radio Group has produced a comprehensive report on the changes, documenting Heart local breakfast shows are due to be cut from 22 shows to just one national show, while 14 local breakfast shows on Capital have already been revised to just one national show and Global’s Smooth brand will also be losing local breakfast shows to make way for just one national show.  

A motion in the Scottish Parliament calling for a review has received considerable cross-party support. Shadow Culture Secretary, Tom Watson MP, has called the move a ‘travesty’ and Lilian Greenwood, Labour MP for Nottingham South, demanded a Commons debate on the issue. She said:

"Commercial radio is booming in terms of both ratings and revenue but, as a result of totally unnecessary deregulation of FM licence conditions, Global, which owns Capital, Heart and Smooth, is axing local breakfast and drive-time shows. This means that studios will close completely in 10 towns and cities from Kent to Kendal, and more than 100 presenters, producers, journalists, engineers and other staff face losing their jobs in these and other locations, including Nottingham. At a time when many people feel that their area is being left behind, their concerns ignored and their voices unheard, is it not time that we debated the loss of local news and the centralisation of our media in London?"

Price

Tags: , broadcasting, radio 1, global, cuts, ofcom, deregulation, drive-time