New digital service recruits 20

Riley

 

Up to 20 journalists are being recruited to supply news for four new local digital services.

The journalists will provide news for the Digital News Network (DNN), a rolling news service set up for the MXR consortium, which has won digital multiplex licences for the cities of Cardiff, Newcastle, Birmingham and Manchester.

The journalists, who are already being recruited ahead of the launch of DNN in September, will be attached to stations owned by members of MXR, which includes Chrysalis Radio, Capital Radio, Jazz FM and Guardian Media Group.

The four teams of journalists will work alongside staff in the newsrooms of radio stations owned by the consortium members: Heart FM in Birmingham, Real Radio in Cardiff, and Century in Newcastle and Manchester.

Sue Owen, editorial director of DNN, said the remit of the new digital stations was to be "very local" and provide at least 50 per cent local news. Sky News, a DNN shareholder, will supply national and international news as part of a deal signed in February.

"As well as aiming to cover local news, unlike a lot of radio news- rooms, the teams will also work on providing in-depth packages of two to four minutes which will complement the news," said Owen.

Phil Riley, chief executive of Chrysalis Radio, said the plans showed commercial radio was committed to providing local news after Greg Dyke claimed at the Radio Festival in Manchester that it was the role of the BBC to "provide the best local news and information to everyone regardless of advertiser demographic".

By Julie Tomlin

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