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Local TV comeback for axed deputy editor

A former deputy editor axed by a regional daily in a Christmas jobs cull is set to bounce back in a new role heading up a local TV station in the city.

Frank Le Duc, who was made redundant from Brighton’s The Argus in December 2008, is to be head of news at Latest TV Limited, which Ofcom has announced as one of the first two successful bids to run local TV channels.

His role at Latest TV, which is already being run as an internet channel, will include presenting a programme called The Vote, which aims to be “Brighton’s version of Newsnight”.

The licence has been awarded for the new channel as part of the government’s plans to roll-out local TV, with the first phase seeing applications made for¬†channels in 21 cities.

Latest TV plans to launch as a local TV channel within 10-18 months of its licence being issued and aims to initially provide a minumum of two hours of original programming a day, five days a week.

It aims for 90pc of its news coverage to be local, while it has a deal with Press Association to provide national news.

The channel has also partnered with hyperlocal news site Brighton and Hove News, which is run by Frank.

Latest TV’s application for the channel states: “Brighton has a vibrant cultural scene and is a recognised media and technology cluster, offering a receptive audience for a new local TV station.

“We will produce and transmit a broad range of programmes with a commitment to reflect the interests of the community with high quality local perspectives on news, business and all local issues, a principle that will underpin our news and current affairs coverage.”

Frank has been a journalist for more than 25 years and worked at the Financial Times and The Times before joining The Argus.

He was axed from his role as the paper’s deputy editor on New Year’s Eve in 2008 but then made a comeback a year later as the new editor-in-chief of Northcliffe subsidiary East Surrey and Sussex News and Media Ltd.

However, he left that position after nine months to pursue other interests, including a hyperlocal website for Brighton.

The other local TV licence awarded so far by Ofcom is to Channel 7 Television Community Interest Company, which will run a channel in Grimsby called Lincolnshire Living.

Ofcom is due to announced the other successful bids later in the autumn.

8 comments

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  • September 13, 2012 at 9:35 am
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    Good luck to the bloke, but the idea of local television sounds AWFUL.

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  • September 13, 2012 at 11:28 am
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    “Frank has been a journalist for more than 25 years”.

    Are you sure? He looks about 19.

    Personally I can’t wait for “Brighton’s version of Newsnight”. Is your ice cream fit for sale? It’s a simple question. Yes or No, Yes or No …

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  • September 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm
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    @Hmmm, Journalismland

    I doubt local television could be half as awful as most local newspapers, to be fair.

    If it is, it’s doomed.

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  • September 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm
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    Thanks, Kevin. Who says the camera never lies! I’m 47 – and the photo’s nearly as old.

    News is just one part – an important part – of a much bigger mix. We’ve got plenty of sport. England’s biggest arts festival – all month every May – is just one of several festivals held here each year. Conversations have been taking place with the two universities, the teaching hospital and the organisers of some of the many conferences that are held in Brighton.

    We’ve already been making programmes to a good standard for a couple of years. That may help to explain why we’ve been awarded one of the first two licences. We’re confident that we’ll make even better programmes in the future and of course there could well be a stinker or two although we’ll work hard to avoid them.

    As for the Newsnight comparison … with Steve Coogan living locally, I just hope we don’t come over all Alan Partridge!

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  • September 13, 2012 at 1:34 pm
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    Good luck Frankie baby, it just might work. Anybody got any better ideas?

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  • September 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm
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    Well done, Frank! I don’t know about the bizarre comment about you looking too young (lucky you!), but if there’s one place that’s suitable for a local TV station, it’s Brighton. More power to your elbow and cameras

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  • September 14, 2012 at 11:21 am
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    Good luck Frank, but don’t interview Steve Coogan unless it’s about the chip on his shoulder!

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  • September 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm
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    Good luck Frank. And I remember when you were 19, give or take the odd year or two.

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