Bay TV, the station run by the boss of Liverpool’s Mercury news agency Chris Johnson, has won two more TV licences.
Johnson won the hotly-fought Liverpool licence last year and Bangor, in Wales, last month. Bat TV now adds the TV franchises for Swansea and Mold in Wales to its empire.
The Government has plans to create some 60 new local TV stations around the country. The first 19 stations are due to start broadcasting at the end of April and include the Lebedev-owned London Live, Made In Leeds and YourTV Manchester
The Mold station in north Wales will be will be called Bay TV Clwyd. Staffed out of Bay TV in Liverpool, it will begin broadcasting within the next year.
There are plans for an hour of local news and current affairs every weekday and six minutes on Saturdays and Sundays – with an additional 1.5 hours of lifestyle and general-interest programs.
The Mold station will partner with the Dee News Service and it also plans to build a “a professional relationship” with NWN Media, the big local newspaper group in the area.
Bay TV Swansea will cover the whole Swansea Bay conurbation, including Neath and Port Talbot, and plans to be up and running at some point between September this year and January 2015.
The Swansea station aims to broadcast three hours a day of live news from the outset and will employ 14 people.
Bay TV said in its Swansea application: “The majority of news events which take place in the region currently get no television coverage because they are local and don’t necessarily interest people outside.
“Swansea Bay TV would recognise what are the key news stories that are important to local people and cover them in a depth which ensures that the issues and interests are properly explained.”
So far 25 local TV licences have been awarded to start broadcasting locally relevant news and other programming on Channel 8 of Freeview.
Local TV is to receive £40m in funding from the BBC over the first three years – some £25m will go towards creating the broadcasting infrastructure with a further £5m a year to help subsidise programming.
The local TV licences awarded so far:
View The UK's new network of local TV stations in a larger map
City TV Broadcasting
Brighton & Hove
Made in Bristol
Cardiff: Made in Cardiff
Contact: Eleanor Marshall
Made in Leeds
Bay TV Liverpool
Made in Teesside
Bay TV Clwyd
Made in Tyne and Wear
YourTV Blackpool & Preston
Yorkshire Coast TV
Bay TV Swansea
The York Channel