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Thumbs down for local TV as Channel M closes

Manchester-based TV station Channel M has shut down after 12 years in a rebuff to the government’s local TV plans

The Guardian Media Group-owned station has been operating on a reduced basis since its companion newspaper titles, including the Manchester Evening News, were sold to Trinity Mirror in 2010.

Trinity declined to have the station included in the sale and GMG then scaled down its offering with the loss of 30 jobs.

Now it has been shut down altogether with its owners saying the government’s plans did not offer it a viable future.

Chief executive of GMG Radio Stuart Taylor said:  “We’ve been in a holding pattern with Channel M for two years awaiting the outcome of the government’s future plans for local TV.

“Sadly, we don’t feel they provide us with the framework needed to grow Channel M into a profitable business that delivers the quality service viewers and advertisers expect from GMG.”

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt wants up to 20 new local TV stations up and running by 2015 and is due to award the first licenses this summer.

But opposition MPs have dubbed the £120m plan a “vanity project” and senior media figures such as Trinity Mirror boss Sly Bailey have also questioned its viability.

Channel began life as Manchester Student Television in 2000 and broadcast to the Greater Manchester area on Freeview.

Three jobs have been lost as a result of the station’s final closure.


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  • April 17, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Three jobs lost?

    Just three of them were trying to run a whole TV station on their own? Jeez.

    “the quality service viewers and advertisers expect from GMG.”

    You’re having a laugh aren’t you, sunshine?

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  • April 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Cherrywonder: At one time there were probably more staff on Channel M than there were in the MEN main newsroom. Ah, those were the days……………..where did all those millions go?

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  • May 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    @redundant hack,

    You forget that television is a resource heavy profession. For every journalist assigned to Channel M there’d have been a cameraman, an editor even though the hacks generally self edited, scheduler(s), researchers, content editors and editors. That’s just on the news side, if you include their local content department then you have similar roles plus gallery staff and IT taking the chain all the way to transmission.
    Now if we view things like that then you should also include staff at the Chadderton presses and the delivery drivers into your staffing figures. The level of staffing was adequate, at it’s peak Channel M transmitted 5hrs+ of live television 5 days a week, a feat that neither Granada or BBC N/W undertake relying on the network for the majority of theirs. When one also includes their local content production fullfilling lifestyle, sport, music one should view the staffing of Channel M to be rather efficient.

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