The chief of a failed bid to bring a local TV station to Britain’s second city has finally broken her silence on the aborted venture.
Debra Davies has expressed her “sadness” at administrators being called in following the collapse of Birmingham licence holder City TV – with the subsequent failure to get the project off the ground.
The former £120,000-a-year Birmingham City Council spin doctor said the demise of Birmingham Local TV Ltd (BLTV) was down to a number of factors including being unable to come to an agreement with creditors.
But the ex-communications director of the UK’s biggest local authority said she was still confident former Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s vision for “truly local television” was the right one.
She said: “This is so important to towns and cities across the country, especially outside the M25.
“I am saddened that we couldn’t help deliver that vision but it is one that I believe would make a game-changing difference to a lot of communities and local interests.”
“It is with great regret that BLTV, City8, has gone into administration.”
Birmingham-based administrators Duff & Phelps were called in late last week – ending weeks of speculation surrounding the licence holder’s ability to deliver by a November 6 deadline.
BLTV was scheduled to fill the vacant Channel 8 slot on Freeview.
“There were plans being negotiated to rescue the company but creditors rejected early conversations in favour of proceeding with their application,” added Ms Davies, pictured.
“There are a number of factors which led to this but we need to look ahead. And I am confident that administrators will work towards a solution and I have offered them my support as the company director.”
Parties interested in picking up the licence to become the city’s TV champion include the That’s Media group – already awarded licences for Oxford, the Solent, Basingstoke, Reading, Surrey and Salisbury – fronted by former That’s Life presenter and ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen.