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BBC boss wants a “renaissance in local radio”

By | Published on Thursday 9 November 2017


BBC local radio is the business. You know that, right? In fact, BBC boss man chief dude Tony Hall would like you all to know that local radio “is in the DNA of our communities” and, with that in mind, the Beeb remains committed to making it.

Indeed, so committed is Hall in his bid to show that the BBC isn’t some horrendous London-centric Brexit-bashing metropolitan monster that couldn’t give a flying fuck about making content just for “local people” out there in the “other places”, he even travelled to Coventry to say so. Brave man.

“I’m a Director General who believes in local radio”, Hall said yesterday at an event celebrating 50 years of BBC’s local radio services. “I recognise the unique value the BBC locally can bring. We’re an organisation that’s global, national and rooted in our local teams. Local radio is in the DNA of our communities. I think that is more important than ever”.

But hey, isn’t the BBC forcing massive cuts on its local radio network having already networked some of the local stations’ programmes to cut costs? Ha, you’re wrong! Hall told his audience that previous plans to cut £10 million from local radio budgets had been canned, and that the evening show that is currently networked across the Beeb’s local radio network in England will be replaced with new locally made programming.

“For many years the BBC has been reducing its investment in local radio”, Hall conceded. “The development of new technology … has seen many people getting their local news, weather and traffic information digitally. But the rise of digital technology has also seen the rise of fake news, not just on a global level but on a local one as well. That’s why the role of BBC local radio is actually becoming more important – not less”.

BBC local radio is just for old people though, right? And I have it on good authority they’ll all be dead soon. “No!” reckons the DG. “Local radio should be for everybody. It’s there to serve the Facebook generation every bit as much as the rest of us”. See? Not just for old people. Though he’s deliberately excluding the Snapchat generation, I see. Wise move. Fuck them.

“My ambition for BBC local radio is for it to have more creative freedom”, Hall concluded, “to celebrate local life, to be the place where we report local news but also the place we reflect local identity, nurture local talent and engage local audiences through digital platforms. I want to see a renaissance in local radio”.