BBC may rein in local radio to cut costs


The British Broadcasting Corporation, which has 40 radio stations spread throughout the United Kingdom, is looking for budget cuts in the 20% range. On the table and under the scalpel: local off-peak programming.
According to The Guardian, certain dayparts will remain local – breakfast and drive times – but other dayparts will be considered fair game for a regional rather than local approach, with stations increasingly sharing syndicated content.

Another item on the table is sports coverage. Currently, each station has its own air staff providing what is described as “highly partisan” coverage of the station’s local football team (that would be soccer here in the States). This practice could be replaced with one BBC team of commentators that provide commentary for all stations carrying a particular game.

Early afternoon and evening dayparts are the most likely to be affected. According to the Guardian, there already is some content being shared, and the entire group takes BBC 5 programming overnight.

One idea for the evening hours is a national program that would go to all of the stations except for those who are running play-by-play of a sporting event.

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