One of the members of a panel set up to consider the government’s plans for local TV has cast fresh doubt on the project.
Now leading media analyst Claire Enders, a member of a panel set up by Mr Hunt to explore the idea further, has suggested that Britain’s conurbations are too small to support
She told Media Guardian: “We are making patient progress, but there are long, intractable issues. We are doing our best to go through all the business models. We are leaving no stone unturned. We are aware of how keen the minister is.
“But one of the obvious things about the UK is that our conurbations are not appropriate for local television, they are not big enough. We will get somewhere, which advances the minister’s agenda, but it will not be earth-shattering stuff.”
Her comments echo those of Ms Bailey who said in June: “We don’t see city TV as a viable proposition. Our research suggests that the costs are too high and the revenues too low to support a sustainable business model.”
Trinity’s scepticism could be significant in that it owns all the main regional newspaper titles in the conurbations of Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Cardiff and would have been expected to be a key player in any proposals to establish city TV in those areas.
The only serious attempt to establish a city TV station in the UK so far has been GMG Regonal Media’s ill-starred Manchester outlet Channel M.
It was offered for sale to Trinity along with the Manchester Evening News and other GMG titles earlier this year, but Trinity turned down the chance to take on the ailing station and it has since been forced to scale down its programming and axe almost all its staff.
The government’s panel looking into the plan is holding its latest hearing today with David Fordham, chief executive of Iliffe News & Media, among those giving evidence.
The panel, chaired by Nicholas Shott, is expected to deliver an interim report by the end of this month and final proposals by the end of the year.
MHmedia (17/09/2010 09:36:55)
Oh dear, this sounds like another opportunity for our local Councils to leap in and start expanding their “communications” empire using council taxpayers money. It’ll be a step up from the Pravdas that they’re already bombarding us with and will create a whole raft of new media jobs!