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No plan to network more at Orion

After introducing a new regular shared afternoon show on its small group of stations in the Midlands, Orion Media says the company has no other current plans for networking.

Dan Morrissey's taken over the 1-4pm slot across four stations – BRMB, Mercia, Wyvern and Beacon.

Ofcom last week agreed format changes for BRMB, Wyvern and Mercia stations, reducing the requirement of locally produced hours to 7 per day instead of 10 and bringing them in line with Beacon. All are still required to have at least 4 hours locally made at weekends.

The stations already share programming from 7pm to 6am on weekdays.

David Lloyd, Group Programme Director for Orion told RadioToday.co.uk: "Our stations have often had one daytime networked show – we have chosen to network that show in the afternoons rather than the mornings owing to our wish to remain as local as we can at the most visible times. Of course, even when shows are shared – they are still only shared in the midlands – and you'll hear rich and frequent localisation in those shows too. As other brands – for understandable reasons – become national, we remain as local as we are able – including dedicated local journalists on each of our sites."

"We have no current plans for more networking," he added. "But we shall routinely ask that our formal licences are as permissible as possible. Whilst today's challenges will mean that we might not always go as far as we'd like in localisation – we believe that it remains at the core of what we do. Our BRMB output remains almost wholly from Birmingham day and night."

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