The BBC has confirmed to RadioToday that there are no plans to reduce news programming on any BBC local radio stations.
The comment comes after Controller of English Regions David Holdsworth sent an email to all staff in local radio, saying “all stations need to reinforce our role as a companion” and “our journalism also needs to have personality through engaging interviews, debate and conversation with the audience”.
After seeing the email, RadioToday reported that there would be less ‘news programming’ and more personality/music led shows as a result, and the BBC replied to the article saying “There are no plans to reduce news programming on BBC local radio as part of the changes announced today.”
But a BBC source told us a number of ‘all news’ shows would become a mixture of music and talk, and half hour headlines may be dropped on some shows, leading to our headline that BBC local radio would be ‘reduce news programming’. We have since changed this to ‘refocus news programming‘ after the BBC confirmed there would be no reduction.
Read the full letter from David Holdsworth here, which goes on to say ‘we are not giving up on high quality journalism’ and invites staff to join in sessions over the coming weeks to make sense of the email.
We’ve invited David Holdsworth on to a future edition of the RadioToday Programme to explain the upcoming changes to local radio.