Category: Media

Local radio has excelled during #coronavirus but BBC axes Clare from the Eric and Clare breakfast

Our local media has served our community well during the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown. National news provided us with the big picture but what we have needed most is the local picture. Our local newspapers and local radio have given us that. We are coming out of the emergency in a better position than we might have done because of the strength of our local media. Despite this success, the BBC today has announced cuts amounting to £25m in regional broadcasting, including to Inside Out and local radio. BBC Radio Shropshire has fronted its breakfast programme with two presenters for nearly a decade. Eric and Clare. It proved a successful format for a programme aired when the news is at its busiest and the number of listeners is at its peak. Today, the two presenter format has been abolished by BBC managers. Although no announcement has been made, the future for now will be breakfast with Eric Smith but without Clare Ashford as a co-presenter.

BBC local radio, 50 years old this week, is our community friend

On Wednesday, 8 November, BBC local radio will be 50 years old. It is a tribute to presenters, listeners and friends that it has lasted that long. Sometimes it has seemed like it hasn’t had many friends in the top echelons of the BBC. It has long been eyed at with envy by commercial broadcasters and local newspapers, who don’t get a public subsidy. It has lasted so long because it reaches out to local communities as a friend.

Happy birthday to BBC Radio Shropshire – thirty years old today

I love local radio and love Radio Shropshire. It’s my station of choice. It’s more than that – it’s a friend. And it has the highest local audience of all local BBC stations. TV and national radio get successful by creating celebrities. The sort of people you’d take a selfie with. Local radio is different. Local radio is at its most successful when it builds a bond of friendship with local communities. The presenters who excel in local radio are those that listen to their audiences as well as talking to them. They craft their broadcasts not just around their own personalities but also their changing communities. They constantly reinvent local broadcasting without betraying the air of familiarity that makes BBC local radio feel so much like a treasured friend.

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