BBC scraps ultra-local TV news plan

The BBC has dumped its local TV news service but will look to develop local online news services.

MyLocalNow will build on existing online services and regional TV output and include other strands such as MyNewsNow and MySportsNow, which will offer 24 hour local and sports news. It will be subject to approval by the BBC Trust.

The BBC plans to invest £300m in the project, creating ‘hundreds of new jobs’according to deputy director general Mark Byford.

The corporation said it had pulled plans to put a local TV service on satellite, a move which has been welcomed by the trade body for regional newspapers.

Newspaper Society director David Newell said: “We are pleased that the BBC has recognised that public money should not be be spent on duplicating services already provided by existing commercial media players and has withdrawn its plans for ultra-local TV services on satellite.

“We welcome the assurance that the proposals for development of local news online services via broadband will be subject to approval by the BBC Trust.

“This would require a public value test inculding marlet impact assessment by OFCOM and the BBC.”

Elsewhere in the Nations & Regions division, job cuts will be made at open centres – which operate learning centres and hold exhibitions.

The BBC Buses are to be cut back in several localities. Part funded by BBC Factual and Learning they offered learning opportunities, mostly IT based, in conjunction with local learning providers.

In Scotland, there is expected to be increased commissions out of its news digital HQ at Pacific Quays in Glasgow. On-demand local news, web expansion and a new Gaelic service are in the pipeline, subject to approval by the Trust.

BBC Nations & Regions:

  • English: currently employs 2900, 370-390 post closures, 130-150 net redundancies
  • Nations: Scotland: 225 – 240 post closures, 155- 165 net redundancies
  • Northern Ireland: Currently employs 670, 100- 110 post closures, 75 – 85 net redundancies
  • Wales: 220 – 235 post closures, 145- 155 net redundancies

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