Shadow minister demands meeting over ‘radio cuts’
Shadow culture secretary Ivan Lewis has demanded a meeting with BBC bosses over reports that local radio services could be axed and replaced with content from Radio 5 Live.
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said proposals had been aired to produce only local breakfast and drive-time shows and fill the gap with 5 Live programmes.
It said this would mean the loss of around 700 jobs and the possible closure of some stations.
Lewis said: ???At a time when Jeremy Hunt is forcing the BBC to spend ??25 million on local TV, it is perverse that the Conservative-led Government cuts may threaten the future of local radio.
???I will be seeking an urgent meeting with the BBC to discuss the range of options under consideration.???
It was reported the proposals were aired as part of the BBC???s Delivering Quality First review, which is tasked with finding savings following the six-year licence-fee freeze.
A BBC spokesman said: ???No decisions have been made so it would be wrong to speculate. It is, of course, only right that BBC staff have an opportunity to input ideas about shaping the BBC???s future.
???The Delivering Quality First sessions are designed to provoke discussion amongst staff about the way the BBC works and any decisions coming out of the process would be subject to approval by the BBC Trust.???
Ivan Lewis is making a good point here.
???At a time when Jeremy Hunt is forcing the BBC to spend ??25 million on local TV, it is perverse that the Conservative-led Government cuts may threaten the future of local radio.”