Global radio moving Heart headquarters may mark beginning of the end for local radio

Global Radio's Brighton base in Portslade
Global Radio's Brighton base in Portslade

This week it was revealed that local commercial radio was facing massive changes, with the local Heart HQ in Portslade relocating to Fareham and the reported axing of the popular breakfast show hosted by Tom, Nicola and Jack.

Parent company Global has announced it will replace 14 regional breakfast shows with one show from London starting on April 8.

In light of Ofcom removing regulations about local content – i.e. traffic, travel and news having to be broadcast – is this the beginning of the end for local commercial radio?

I appreciate there’s something in the title, commercial, which tells a story, but for nearly 40 years, starting with Southern Sound, it clearly has been viable.

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The latest move smacks of that well-worn phrase ‘streamlining’ and costs being cut.

Aside from a number of people losing their jobs, who are the real losers here? The listeners.

Granted, locally we still have More Radio, but I don’t think that’s quite what began over 15 years ago when Roy Stannard started Splash FM.

Local content was the thing behind the whole concept of regional local radio when it was set up in the 1970s, with the founding of LBC and then Capital Radio in London.

As a businessman myself, I appreciate you have to have viability, but ultimately does profit now come before the thing they actually started out producing?


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