BBC Local Radio

(18-02-2024, 11:18 PM)cityprod Wrote:  The problem with this idea, as good and sensible as it is, is that its a short term solution to a long term problem. That problem, is the fact that over the years we have become conditioned to think local = bad, national = good. Whether that be television or radio, "local" seems to be a dirty word. We don't need national programmes on local radio. We need to recondition the people to not automatical think that local is bad.

Indeed, I don't necessarily disagree with this view. There's a trend towards consolidation and nationalisation in a lot of media (regionalisation at best), and it's not a particularly great trend. I suspect some (most?) of it is coming from the general trend of turning to social media and streaming giants for entertainment and news. There's a fascinating article on Press Gazette ( ) regarding the loss of advertising. The upcoming loss of third-party cookies will also make some difference.

In some cases, independent local media is popping-up (for example, The Mill in my area), and there's some great community radio stations (and some very dire ones too) but this will never have the sheer scale and reach of a BBC or commercial broadcast and / or web option. It's a small drop in the ocean. And I'd wager that most people aren't interested in hearing about / reading about their local area all day long, which adds to the trend of local outlets being difficult to sustain (local TV is a whole different story of course). Whether this is because, as you say 'Local = bad' I'm not sure. I'm a staunch defender of local media but I know I won't listen to Bolton FM or YO1 Radio all day. They're good, but they're no Radio 2 or Heart or - before the cuts - Radio Manchester, and the local news is OK, but not fantastic. Some community stations have no local news at all. I certainly don't want to pay for a newsletter that only comes out once-per-week and has stories from all over Greater Manchester. Yes, I'm interested, but not that interested and anything in my local area, I've likely found out about before it comes out.

In the BBC's case, unless they get extra cash from somewhere, the days of Local BBC Radio as we knew it are gone. If we have national programmes now, I'd rather see Five Live be the 'sustaining' feed than what's currently being output. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against any 'national' or regional host on local radio - I'm not a person who will give bad remarks about anyone, and I try to find the good in people - but I do think that the shows and format don't know what they want to be. At least Five Live could produce something truly national, if that's how they want to go with it. The bonus of keeping Five Live 'UK' on DAB, Five Live 'Local' on the FM / DAB outlets in England and switching-off MW is a side-effect.

The BBC should be providing local public service news, sport, entertainment and information. How they do that is the next question.

Off-topic but sad news to report - Wally Scott, Billy Butler’s sidekick on Radio Merseyside and Radio City, died last night after a long illness.

Of course, Hold Your Plums is their lasting legacy - and it’s probably just a little harder nowadays to explain just how big it was in Liverpool, the North West, North Wales etc on a Sunday morning.

But Wally was first and foremost a producer. He was part of the Radio City launch team in 1974, producing the likes of Bill Shankly and even Alan Bleasdale (for his character, Scully, which went onto become a Channel 4 series)

Both Billy and Wally did return to City for a while among other things and they were still doing theatre shows together till fairly recently.

He’ll be missed. RIP. 
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Is it me or do certain BBC Local stations appear to have a fairly high turnover when it comes to breakfast presenters? (something that was an issue before the recent cuts)

Noticed there's a change of host fairly often - particularly with WM (who have had three different hosts over the past three years)

Now, Radio Merseyside are dropping Phil Munns after just nine months on breakfast and replacing him with Kevin 'Blue's Clues' Duala next month (to be fair, I remember him doing IVC on Challenge way back when) 
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