I know this is a radio story but it somehow seems relevant considering the consolidation of ITV and the fact that Charles Allen is the chairman of Global:
Global will broadcast national breakfast shows on the Capital, Heart and Smooth networks by the end of this year, RadioToday can reveal.
Capital will go first with the London output replacing 14 breakfast programmes on the Capital network in England, Scotland and Wales on April 8th. Due to deregulation and larger ‘approved areas’, only nine drivetime shows will be provided instead of the current 14.
New rules will mean the merger of Capital Brighton and South Coast (Meridian), the merger of Capital Birmingham and East Midlands (already a merger of stations in Leicester, Nottingham and Derby) (Central), and the merger of Capital Manchester and Lancashire – being created by rebranding its latest purchase, 2BR, on the same day (North West).
London, Liverpool, North East and Yorkshire will retain a local Drive show, along with Scotland and Wales. The rest of the output will be networked with local news, ads and information.
Heart will get a single breakfast show across England, Scotland and Wales on all stations owned by Global and Communicorp in the coming months – putting an end to the current line-up of 22 breakfast shows and their teams. And instead of 23 separate drivetime shows, there will be 10 covering the enlarged areas.
For Smooth, a new national breakfast show will launch later in the year, replacing breakfast programmes in East Midlands, West Midlands, North West, Lake District, North East, Scotland and Wales. Drivetime programmes will be reduced to seven with the expected merger of Smooth North West and Lake District, whilst Smooth East Midlands will network with Connect FM once it has been rebranded.
All local and regional weekend programmes on all brands will end with national programmes provided on all frequencies.
Global’s Founder & Executive President Ashley Tabor made the announcement to staff this morning in London and via video link to the rest of the company, along with plans to reduce their broadcast centres from 24 down to 14 – therefore closing 10 studio sites.
Merging the stations means fewer broadcast facilities are required, and RadioToday can bring you details of which sites will stay and which will remain:
The sites closing are:
The sites remaining are:
Nottingham – non-broadcast (except Communicorp)
Reading – non-broadcast
Apart from the fact that this is a crying shame, what could it mean for the future of regional commercial television? Could we see the merger of ITV's regional news programmes to cover larger areas? As we know, their programmes already share human interest content.
It would seem odd to allow such consolidation in radio and then force ITV to continue in its present form.
Last edited by Whataday on 27 February 2019 10:57am