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Global Radio axes all regional/local breakfast shows

(February 2019)

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Whataday Founding member
I know this is a radio story but it somehow seems relevant considering the consolidation of ITV and the fact that Charles Allen is the chairman of Global:

From RadioToday:

Global will broadcast national breakfast shows on the Capital, Heart and Smooth networks by the end of this year, RadioToday can reveal.

Capital will go first with the London output replacing 14 breakfast programmes on the Capital network in England, Scotland and Wales on April 8th. Due to deregulation and larger ‘approved areas’, only nine drivetime shows will be provided instead of the current 14.

New rules will mean the merger of Capital Brighton and South Coast (Meridian), the merger of Capital Birmingham and East Midlands (already a merger of stations in Leicester, Nottingham and Derby) (Central), and the merger of Capital Manchester and Lancashire – being created by rebranding its latest purchase, 2BR, on the same day (North West).

London, Liverpool, North East and Yorkshire will retain a local Drive show, along with Scotland and Wales. The rest of the output will be networked with local news, ads and information.

Heart will get a single breakfast show across England, Scotland and Wales on all stations owned by Global and Communicorp in the coming months – putting an end to the current line-up of 22 breakfast shows and their teams. And instead of 23 separate drivetime shows, there will be 10 covering the enlarged areas.

For Smooth, a new national breakfast show will launch later in the year, replacing breakfast programmes in East Midlands, West Midlands, North West, Lake District, North East, Scotland and Wales. Drivetime programmes will be reduced to seven with the expected merger of Smooth North West and Lake District, whilst Smooth East Midlands will network with Connect FM once it has been rebranded.

All local and regional weekend programmes on all brands will end with national programmes provided on all frequencies.

Global’s Founder & Executive President Ashley Tabor made the announcement to staff this morning in London and via video link to the rest of the company, along with plans to reduce their broadcast centres from 24 down to 14 – therefore closing 10 studio sites.

Merging the stations means fewer broadcast facilities are required, and RadioToday can bring you details of which sites will stay and which will remain:

The sites closing are:


The sites remaining are:
Milton Keynes
Nottingham – non-broadcast (except Communicorp)
Reading – non-broadcast

Apart from the fact that this is a crying shame, what could it mean for the future of regional commercial television? Could we see the merger of ITV's regional news programmes to cover larger areas? As we know, their programmes already share human interest content.

It would seem odd to allow such consolidation in radio and then force ITV to continue in its present form.
Last edited by Whataday on 27 February 2019 10:57am
The new super regions are, effectively, designed to mirror ITV's regions. So if anything it's putting both on an even keel.
Whataday Founding member
The new super regions are, effectively, designed to mirror ITV's regions. So if anything it's putting both on an even keel.

But they are further consolidated content-wise, almost to the point they can no longer be considered local stations.

In terms of ITV (trying to keep this relevant to TV as I'm aware it's not exactly on brand) it does make me wonder how long we'll be seeing local opt outs on GMB. They already appear to be an inconvenience to the programme.
Last edited by Whataday on 26 February 2019 11:50am
True, but these national breakfast shows will still have opt outs for local news and travel.
Surprise surprise. Absolutely ridiculous the regulator paved the way for this. That is local radio in the UK now dead.
Good thing Birmingham's remaining but yeah, it's the end of an era for Heart.
Millions of job losses including Ed and Rachel who present the breakfast show here in my area. Such a shame...
A former member
Only 250 jobs are going... Not millions
Larry the Loafer
Still 250 more than there needs to be.
Ash101, chinamug and DJ Dave gave kudos
This is obviously important news but I’m struggling to see what this has to do with ITV?
Surprise surprise. Absolutely ridiculous the regulator paved the way for this. That is local radio in the UK now dead.
Not quite. There's still Bauer's Hits Radio.
Although Gem 106, which is connected to the Hits Radio network, has recently started mentioning the fact more and more recently (in fact I don't remember them mentioning it at all until the start of the year) which is making me wonder if they're planning on centralising some time soon as well.

That itself is a station that's had numerous changes in ownerships and rebrands over the years as well.
Bauer Media has recently bought up Lincs FM Group, Celador Radio and Wireless’ local radio division, this adds about 25 radio licences to the ones they already have. I guess over time they move in a similar direction to Global with condensing their brands.
Last edited by chrisdafur on 26 February 2019 4:39pm

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