The Guardian Media Group’s radio division is to compete with the BBC for independent commissions after announcing an investment fund of £1m for new programming.
According to GMG, the move represents one of the biggest investments in independent productions by a commercial radio group in recent years, and will see the group competing against the BBC for new commissions and programming ideas.
GMG Radio chief executive John Myers said: ‘The BBC is the only place independent commissions can go to. On top of that is a thought process that says commercial radio doesn’t invest enough in its content because all the money is invested in its local outputs and regions.”
Further details of how to pitch ideas will be released in coming weeks.
Myers said the £1m would make GMG ‘the second biggest to the BBC’for programming, but admitted: ‘We cannot compete with what the BBC does at that scale. But independents can also now pitch to us, whereas until now there wasn’t an outlet in any commercial streams.”
The commissions are unlikely to form part of GMG’s daytime content and will instead be placed in weekend and off-peak schedules. The company is looking to commission documentaries, sport, comedy and music.
GMG Radio owns 11 radio stations in the UK.