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Keep it local, Myers urges

Creating national brands with local content is the future of radio, according to GMG Radio boss John Myers. He was in conversation with Trevor Dann at the latest Radio Academy event in Birmingham last night.

Both Myers and Dann agreed local radio stations which control links, music and content via a central 'head office' will have a limited appeal in the new world of 'on demand' services. Examples were given of how community radio stations are full of localness, and regional radio stations such as Real Radio Wales, which employes Welsh presenters, add to the local feel for the station.

But bland pop stations offering little speech and talentless presenters have no future.

The debate, held at Aston Villa Football Club, also talked about how radio talent is hard to come by, and as an industry we must watch out for television hosts automatically gaining radio programmes, regardless of their ability, taking away slots from rising radio stars.

When questioned about the BBC's threat to commercial radio, Myers said Radio 1 is becoming more of a threat than Radio 2, and maybe it's time for another clear out at the station. He quoted a recent line about Chris Moyles turning into the next DLT.

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