The Newsroom

BBC Regional Redundancies

Split from BBC Regional SD/HD Transmissions

MA
manclad Granada North West Today
I don’t comment too much, I don’t work in the industry but I occasionally feel compelled to comment.

The success of these regional magazine/news programmes is two fold.

Absolutely yes, the localness of the programme is a key factor. Local/regional issues and culture plus the ever lasting novelty of seeing places you intimately know and recognise.

But the personalities have always been part of the formula and the success of these programmes. In my childhood in Yorkshire and my young adulthood in Manchester, Richard Whitley, Harry Gration, Christa Ackroyd, Lucy Meacock and Gordon Burns were/are very much local celebrities that everyone knows in a way they don’t on national news.

It’s disappointing that the BBC have gone single headed and that they are apparently going pure hard news. The current format has the right balance. After circa 45 minutes of international, national and regional news, that 15 minutes of magazine style features makes for a nice end to the “news hour”.

Much of that also lends itself perfectly to double headed presentation. It’s warm and friendly and the viewer responds to that.

COVID 19 brought with it a National (worldwide) crisis that most generations have never experienced. The start of it brought some very uncertain and unsettling times for many. I for one really appreciated the fact that the warm, friendly and familiar personalities remained on our screen. Whilst I appreciate double headers are difficult at this time, going forward, I do feel that the programmes will suffer.

It takes a particularly strong format to pull off regional single headers. BBC London for example just feels an extension of the National. When I first moved to Manchester, NWT was single headed by Gordon Burns but that relied on a fair bit of participation by Dianne Oxberry and the sports presenter. In fact Dianne used to do the final item and close with Gordon.
AndrewPSSP, Spencer and Anglialad gave kudos
IS
Inspector Sands

That's a shame, I liked them both, especially Colin Young and his Trunk of Funk. Losing so much talent locally, and gaining some who aren't a patch on their predecessors

Although I remember listening to the station back at the beginning of the year when there was major flooding in the area and whereas the rest of the schedule was doing what local radio does best in an emergency, he was just prattling on with his usual stuff. I wasn't surprised that he was the one squeezed out the schedule when a bigger story arrived 2 months later.
SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Pre-rec perhaps?
Write that down in your copybook now.
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
The BBC Regional News is often the highest rated show of the day. Without dismissing the value of those who have lost their roles on the whole I doubt the general public will notice too much difference.
Be nicer and more tolerant to each other. Them's the rules.
CallumF and London Lite gave kudos
NG
noggin Founding member

Part of the savings announced by BBC England earlier this year was to use automation more. In the regions that already use Mosart (London and Salford) that meant getting rid of PAs and using the inbuilt timing facilities of the system (as TV News have done for some time).


I believe Plymouth also uses Mosart.
IS
Inspector Sands
Pre-rec perhaps?

No he was taking texts etc
IS
Inspector Sands

Part of the savings announced by BBC England earlier this year was to use automation more. In the regions that already use Mosart (London and Salford) that meant getting rid of PAs and using the inbuilt timing facilities of the system (as TV News have done for some time).

There is a new production system in the process of being rolled out I believe.
NG
noggin Founding member

Part of the savings announced by BBC England earlier this year was to use automation more. In the regions that already use Mosart (London and Salford) that meant getting rid of PAs and using the inbuilt timing facilities of the system (as TV News have done for some time).

There is a new production system in the process of being rolled out I believe.


Yes - BBC English regions have been piloting at least one system that isn't Mosart AIUI, though that was in 2019. I don't know how things have continued during Covid.
IS
Inspector Sands

Yes - BBC English regions have been piloting at least one system that isn't Mosart AIUI, though that was in 2019. I don't know how things have continued during Covid.

AIUI they were training in the summer, with a system in one location and those in the regions watching remotely, but I'm not sure if they have actually seen it in the flesh
NB
NicB1971 Central (West) Midlands Today
If anything, the fact the BBC English regional bulletins are going newsier will help it against the ITV regions which use fluff, of which some of it is from other parts of the UK will work to the BBC's advantage.


BBC Midlands Today has always been the (usually) more serious news programme whereas ATV Today was the fluffier programme for many years (look at the titles from c1974 and 1976 on YT); as the franchise renewals were on the horizon they went all serious again in 1980 (new theme and titles). Come 1982, and rebadged as Central News, they went lighter again, only to be told to be more serious a few years later.
AN
Andrew Founding member Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
The ratings won’t be effected, the BBC News are in a very strong position and viewers are very loyal, they either watch the BBC or ITV at teatime and I bet for many it’s a tradition they’ve had for years. I know personally, and other members of my family watch ITV at teatime and have done back since the early 90s when ITV had the very strong line up fronted by Richard Whiteley and a lively programme, and the BBC equivalent was much more stuffy and dry at the time with Judith Stamper who had a headmistress air about her.

If it was the 90s, ITV would be signing up the axed BBC presenters and making a big song and dance about signing them up, but we all know that isn’t the world regional news is in anymore.

Therefore the BBC would have to provide a noticeably poor service for viewers to think about switching.
Last edited by Andrew on 19 December 2020 11:48pm - 3 times in total
MA
manclad Granada North West Today
The ratings won’t be effected, the BBC News are in a very strong position and viewers are very loyal, they either watch the BBC or ITV at teatime and I bet for many it’s a tradition they’ve had for years. I know personally, and other members of my family watch ITV at teatime and have done back from the early 90s when ITV had the very strong line fronted by Richard Whiteley and a lively programme, and the BBC equivalent was much more stuffy and dry at the time with Judith Stamper who had a headmistress air about her.

If it was the 90s, ITV would be signing up the axed BBC presenters and making a big song and dance about signing them up, but we all know that isn’t the world regional news is in anymore.

Therefore the BBC would have to provide a noticeably poor service for viewers to think about switching.


But harder news and also single headers don’t allow the personalities to shine through as much. You’ve already alluded to the ITV personalities in Yorkshire which kind of proves that personality adds value. There’s also further proof when you look at the outpouring when personalities such as Dianne Oxberry passed away and also when Richard Whitely died even though he hadn’t been a regional personality for about a decade when he died.
Last edited by manclad on 19 December 2020 11:37pm

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