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Yorkshire MP voices concerns about job cuts in local radio

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John Grogan, the MP for Keighley and Ilkley has put forward an early day motion (EDM) about jobs cuts in local commercial radio.

He points to decisions taken specifically at Global Radio, which recently announced that weekend shows would be fully networked, with no local presenters. That came after its decision to change every breakfast show and almost every drive show across its Heart operation.

In a statement to the House of Commons, Grogan urged Ministers to strengthen legislation to “protect localness.”

“That this House notes that 35 million people listen to commercial radio’s mix of music, entertainment, news, sport, travel and local information every week on over 300 licensed stations serving a wide range of musical preferences, local communities and social backgrounds; is consequently concerned by changes being made within local commercial radio and regrets the decision by Global, which owns Capital, Heart and Smooth, to reduce the number of locally produced programmes it makes resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs in local radio and the closure of eleven local studios; considers unnecessary the decision by Ofcom to deregulate the conditions for local FM licences, for example, by reducing the minimum amount of local programming from seven hours a day to just three and by widening the areas where these can be produced; believes this is particularly ill-conceived at a time when local radio is thriving with growing audiences and local advertising revenues; notes that this will result in many hundreds of local radio presenters, producers and journalists facing an uncertain future; further notes that the replacement of local voices and programmes with more centrally produced content will add to the serious decline in local news for UK citizens; supports the Federation of Entertainment Unions and the Local Radio Campaign Group in calling for an urgent review of the decision by Ofcom; and urges Ministers to take an interest in the issue and examine the case for strengthening legislation to protect localness.”

In May, Global said that it would be keeping its Smooth Breakfast shows local, but would have a national Drive show presented by Angie Greaves.

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