The Newsroom

London Live

announce News presenters (December 2013)

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PC
p_c_u_k
First of all, the "more murders and stabbings than New York" figure is based on somewhat selective data over a short time during a relatively quiet news period. It feels important to state that at the outset.

Beyond that, there are a lot of problems in terms of trying to cover London and make the viewers give a toss:
- It's got a huge population in a very small area, so it's impossible to split the transmitters and make the TV stations more local.
- People who live in London generally give a toss about their bit of London, or at best their side of the river. They have no more interest in news from another part of London than they do about Yorkshire.
- London has a multitude of local councils, so trying to cover all of them (without losing the viewers who aren't covered by those councils and therefore don't give a toss) is borderline impossible.
- Most relatively important stories about London end up on the national news, leaving the local London news to pick up the scraps.
- Because London is covered (relatively) well nationally, viewers and listeners don't seem to put too much weight on a station being local 24 hours a day. There is no London equivalent of Clyde 1 or Key 103. Capital tried to make local its USP for years and it bombed, it only found its place as a Global brand that sold itself as a quasi-national alternative to Radio 1.

In terms of there not being the culture here for local television compared to the States, there also isn't the population. New York has double the population of London, which is by far the biggest city in the UK, and the US as a whole is a bigger country and has a good 250 million or so more people. As already pointed out, historically the US also has the heritage of the affiliate system. It was notable that NBC cut to their affiliate to get the latest from the YouTube shootings for extended periods of time. You can't imagine ITV handing over the reins to Granada for a major story in Manchester.
CI
cityprod
Beyond that, there are a lot of problems in terms of trying to cover London and make the viewers give a toss:
- It's got a huge population in a very small area, so it's impossible to split the transmitters and make the TV stations more local.


Actually in terms of Greater London (which is the area that ITV and BBC covers), it's about twice as big as New York, with just over 600 square miles as opposed to just over 300 square miles. But the geography of it, does make hyper-local TV broadcasting somewhat difficult.

Quote:
- People who live in London generally give a toss about their bit of London, or at best their side of the river. They have no more interest in news from another part of London than they do about Yorkshire.


Yep, absolutely true. There are similar types of situations in other regions in the UK too.

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- London has a multitude of local councils, so trying to cover all of them (without losing the viewers who aren't covered by those councils and therefore don't give a toss) is borderline impossible.


32 borough councils plus the City Of London, that's a pretty unenviable task.

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- Most relatively important stories about London end up on the national news, leaving the local London news to pick up the scraps.


But do they belong on the national news, rather than the London local bulletins? My answer would be no, they don't belong on the national news.

Quote:
- Because London is covered (relatively) well nationally, viewers and listeners don't seem to put too much weight on a station being local 24 hours a day. There is no London equivalent of Clyde 1 or Key 103. Capital tried to make local its USP for years and it bombed, it only found its place as a Global brand that sold itself as a quasi-national alternative to Radio 1.


Okay, there's a lot of problems in this statement. First off, Key 103 is Manchester's original nearest equivalent of Capital, serving a 15-44 audience, with a greater chart focus than most other commercial stations in the UK. As for Capital, the London station did their best ratings back at the turn of the century, and hasn't really picked up much overall, since Global bought GCap.

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In terms of there not being the culture here for local television compared to the States, there also isn't the population. New York has double the population of London, which is by far the biggest city in the UK,


Oh dear, the mistakes get worse. Latest estimates on population give Greater London about 8.75 million, and New York about 8.6 million, so in fact London has the bigger population, though in about twice as much area.

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and the US as a whole is a bigger country and has a good 250 million or so more people.


Latest estimates put the US population at over 325 million, which yes, is way more than our estimated 65 million+, but when compared with the continent of Europe, which has a similar area (3.9 million square miles as opposed to the US's 3.8 million), Europe has over 747 million people, more than double the US.

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As already pointed out, historically the US also has the heritage of the affiliate system.


That does explain things much more than anything else. Local TV stations were created mainly, at first, by local organisations, so have a much greater history of localness than we do, with one of our "local networks" being basically a network opt-out, and the other has gone that way since 2002.

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It was notable that NBC cut to their affiliate to get the latest from the YouTube shootings for extended periods of time. You can't imagine ITV handing over the reins to Granada for a major story in Manchester.


Sadly, you can't, and that is frankly a really sad thing. But, you also can't imagine the BBC handing over to BBC North West in that situation either.
WW
WW Update
Here's a brief clip of BFM Paris; I wonder if something like this would enjoy similar success in London (if someone with relatively deep pockets and a long-term commitment decided to take a gamble):

LL
London Lite Founding member
BFM Paris is a rarity in local television in France where the channel is owned by a large multimedia group, who can subsidise the channel through profit making sister channels and shares resources with the main BFMTV.

London Live to an extent is unique where it's owned by a Russian oligarch who owns a London evening newspaper, yet there isn't simply the sharing of resources. LL has it's own small news team and if they do use Standard staff, ESTV has to pay Evening Standard Ltd for the use of their staff.

So you're left with the majority of local licences in England and Wales owned by two groups, one that provides sub-standard public access type nonsense that nobody will watch, while the other networks output and utilises one presenter based in Leeds to read news bulletins across their channel portfolio due to the BBC licence fee funding being stopped.

Unfortunately I think that local tv will either like ITV become a quasi-national network with local opts or will hand back licences.
Night Thoughts, BBI45 and WW Update gave kudos
BR
Brekkie
What's the 1-14 on that BFM cap for the travel updates?
SC
scottishtv Founding member
What's the 1-14 on that BFM cap for the travel updates?

They indicate the status of Paris Metro lines.
Last edited by scottishtv on 10 April 2018 6:12pm

8 days later

TV
TVGBs
When will they just pull the plug? There have been talks about a sale for a while. Internally it's seen as an Albatross.
AN
all new Phil
I know it’s a bit of a left field suggestion, so please don’t just shoot it down on the grounds of cost etc... what if the BBC ran a London local tv channel? They’ve got the infrastructure and the expertise. Would having the BBC logo on it give it more chance of success?

Only reason I suggest it is that local tv hasn’t worked here, but local tv on the whole has been executed very poorly. A quality product with a trusted brand, would that still suffer the same lack of success?
CI
cityprod
I know it’s a bit of a left field suggestion, so please don’t just shoot it down on the grounds of cost etc... what if the BBC ran a London local tv channel? They’ve got the infrastructure and the expertise. Would having the BBC logo on it give it more chance of success?

Only reason I suggest it is that local tv hasn’t worked here, but local tv on the whole has been executed very poorly. A quality product with a trusted brand, would that still suffer the same lack of success?


It's a very fair question to ask, and one that could so easily be dismissed because of cost.

My thought on your question, and this is purely an opinion, no real basis for this, is that the problem with local TV wasn't to do with branding and was more to do with how limited budgets were spent. I'd argue that smaller, simpler studios, and increased use of syndicated and shared programming in the early going would have helped to start the services on a more profitable footing, and then they could have invested in bigger and better studios later.

They were too ambitious, trying to do too much too quickly.

Now, what could a BBC local TV channel do that a commercial one couldn't? The BBC wouldn't be able to raise money via advertising and sponsorship, unless it was a joint venture company that the BBC owned no more than 50% of, ala UKTV. Then they could. Yes, they have an archive of their own programmes to fill the gap, and indeed, could utilise BBC World News feature programmes like Click. But would that be enough? I'm not sure that it would.
JO
Jon
I know it’s a bit of a left field suggestion, so please don’t just shoot it down on the grounds of cost etc... what if the BBC ran a London local tv channel? They’ve got the infrastructure and the expertise. Would having the BBC logo on it give it more chance of success?

Only reason I suggest it is that local tv hasn’t worked here, but local tv on the whole has been executed very poorly. A quality product with a trusted brand, would that still suffer the same lack of success?

The BBC tried it to some extent in the West Midlands with all local radio stations having a 10 minute slot on the red button. I seem to remember it was just a few VT stitched together. But local news papers put a stop to the scene going any further.
London Lite and all new Phil gave kudos
LF
learned friend
If a local London news channel is ever to have hope of succeeding, it must first be within the five channels. I would suggest on number one, obviously this will never happen.

There is plenty of stuff to report on happening in London, they could run a new story every half hour all day every day. Car crashes, fires, murders, muggings, accidents, protests, new openings.

All costs a lot of money, but a channel could succeed, and if it did, they could I guess sell advertising space to high value clients.
LL
London Lite Founding member
I think at the end of the day, the Standard's Oligarch bid for the licence to keep out another competitor into the London media market. (The same happened in Liverpool with the then Emap, now Bauer winning a radio licence to keep out rivals in a market where they dominate)

So you end up with a half baked news service, which at the start paid tokenism to news and now does the bare minimum with a small team of journalists, while keeping the newspaper at the front of the operation.

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