Monday, 26 September 2011

For local people only

BBC Local Radio to be hit hard by cost-cutting says the Guardian this week it would appear on the face of it that your local radio station will end up being anything but local.  But scratch the surface of this story and you will find parallels with commercial radio and the way that the larger groups are evolving network shows with local content.

So what makes local programming?  Is it that the DJ happens to be sitting round the corner from where you live, as they are in my case with BBC Essex (Why is there a golden transmitter mast in their front garden by the way?)  Or is it the news shows and information like travel news etc that make it truly local.

If it is the latter and I believe to a an extent this is true then technology can allow complex local programming to be created with a networked framework.  Very much the way Capital and Heart create their local identity within a networked show.

I have to say I'm not a fan of BBC Essex it is a very moribund sounding station the only question is will the DJ's expire before some of the very elderly callers do? Some more better crafted and compelling local content dropped into a network show sounds more appealing to me and would cut cost at the cost of course of jobs which is a whole different argument.

I have to say that my BBC local radio station costs more than some national commercial stations, they inhabit a large and comfortable looking building in a predominately, now, residential area and when I pass them on a Sunday afternoon a car park full of staff - I do sometimes wonder what they all could be doing as I can't hear the resources reflected in most of the weekend output?

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