Latest Television has become the latest company to publicly announce that it has bid for the right to run the ‘spine’ channel at the heart of Jeremy Hunt’s Local TV plan.
Bill Smith, founder of the Brighton-based business, told Press Gazette that around ’12 or 13’bids are competing to run the channel which will broadcast national networked programming into which shows from regional stations will be interspersed.
He said: ‘It’s the right of people in their own locality to make programmes about whatever they like and to have them watched by their local community.
‘This is the same whether it’s Cairo or Cardiff, Tripoli or Trowbridge, Benghazi or Brighton. Our programme schedule has companies from all around the UK making programmes for this new channel and enabling local television channels across the UK to expand viably.
‘Our bid is led by three of the most successful local media organisations in the country – Latest Homes Ltd, publishers of the popular city magazine and property portal, Latest 7 / Latest Homes, thelatest.co.uk and latesthomes.co.uk, Juice 107.2FM juicefm.com, and Sub TV already broadcasting in 110 sites across the UK.
‘We are also delighted to have on board two of Brighton’s MPs who are actively supporting this bid and keen to get involved in its implementation.
‘Our programme strands will largely be financed by sponsorship. Programmes such as Science UK, Music UK, Comedy UK and Pride UK are wide-ranging in content and link to British enterprise in every locality.
‘We will also feature NewsTube UK an entirely new way of covering local news in the UK. Our bid puts localness at the heart of the channel 24/7″.
A series of other businesses have already come forward to as bidders to run the network programming for Local TV, including Birmingham-based City TV Broadcasting and Channel 6, run by former Trinity Mirror executive Richard Horwood.
In addition, Scottish broadcaster STV has bid to run the new national network and other bidders are understood to include: the Scottish Television Network, organised by Dr David Rushton; Element Television, which includes former GMG executive from Channel M Caroline Bailes; Inclusive digital, which includes former ITV News editor Nigel Dacre; and Welsh TV production company Tinopolis.