A regional newspaper publisher has pledged to help spearhead attempts to set up a new hyperlocal TV station on its patch.
Norwich-based Archant says it will do all it can to bring proposals for a local TV station in the city to fruition.
The city was yesterday named as one of 20 cities around the UK to pioneer the government’s plans for local TV channels to replace ITV regional news.
Ministers have always envisaged some of the new stations being run by local press groups, but some, including Trinity Mirror and Johnston Press, have previously expressed scepticism about whether it constitutes a viable business model.
However Archant, whose titles include the Norwich Evening News and Eastern Daily Press, was among those that expressed a firm interest in the project during a government-led consultation earlier this year.
Responding to yesterday’s announcement, Archant Anglia managing director Johnny Hustler said: “Archant has always been in the vanguard of new media initiatives and we’re delighted with this news and will spearhead the work needed to bring this to fruition.”
The other 19 cities shortlisted by media regulator ofcom yesterday were Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Preston, Southampton and Swansea.
Ofcom said it had selected sites where local TV is technically possible, where there is a potential local service operator, and where there is local demand.