BBC WM weekend presenter Carl Chinn MBE has said he is saddened and disappointed at being made to leave the station after 19 years on-air.
Carl’s two hour Sunday programme ended last week after management decided not to renew his contract.
The local historian has released a statement saying the show had consistently high audience figures, and thanked everyone he has worked with over the last 19 years.
The Sunday schedule now shows “Network Gold” in his previous slot, which last week followed his 12-2pm show, then a three hour sports show.
Here’s his statement in full:
“It is with regret that I must announce that today I have presented my last Sunday programme on BBC WM. The decision to end the show was not mine.
“Instead, and after 19 years of successful broadcasting, BBC WM’s management has decided not to renew my contract to present a two-hour show on a Sunday. Of course, that is the prerogative of the management but I am deeply disappointed at that decision.
“I am disappointed most of all because I believe that the programme has been very successful, not only in terms of consistently high audience figures but also in respect of giving an opportunity for people to speak for themselves about their lives, their families, their groups, their neighbourhoods and our region.
“As such, I feel that the programme has been a means for many different people to enhance our knowledge about a variety of issues and for bringing people together.
“Nineteen years ago, when I was first asked to present a Sunday programme on BBC WM my objective was to abide by the principles of informing, entertaining and engaging with the people of the West Midlands. As part of those objectives my aims were threefold. In the first instance I wanted the show to be a collaborative effort between myself, the guests and the listeners and that instead of being ‘my’ programme it would be ‘our’ programme.
“The second aim was to give a voice to community organisations, good causes, schools, charities, local history societies, longstanding companies, innovators, novelists, writers, artists, poets, musicians, storytellers and a host of interesting individuals. As opposed to ‘sound-bite radio’, the objective was to allow people to feel comfortable and to give them time to speak for themselves and to develop their ideas.
“Importantly through letting people speak for themselves a third aim would be achieved – that of highlighting the positive aspects of our peoples and thus help to build bridges; for example, bridges between young and old, between ethnicities, between inner and outer city, and between Birmingham and the Black Country. In so doing, a positive light could be shone on parts of our region that too often have been unfairly stereo-typed negatively. As a result the programme could serve as an aid towards promoting unity and understanding and to lessen discord and disharmony.
“As I also pre-produce the show and set up all the guests, I have striven to ensure that those aims have been achieved and I hope that I have done so. I have also striven to cover a wide range of places, guests and topics. To exemplify this a selection of guests and topics covered since January 2011 is appended to this Press Release.
“Finally I wish to thank all those who have worked with me in the studio over the last 19 years and most importantly I wish to thank the guests and the listeners. I believe that together we have told some remarkable stories and that we have created some remarkable programmes – and in so doing we have made a difference for the better in and for our region. I am saddened that we cannot continue to do so.”