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BBC proceeds with local modernisation plans

January 18, 2023

The BBC says is taking the next steps to reshape local services after listening to audience feedback around proposals for local radio programming.

In October 2022, proposals to modernise BBC local services were set out to boost online provision for 43 areas across the country, enhance local audio services on BBC Sounds and create a new network of investigative reporters. In order to achieve the changes, greater programme sharing outside of peak hours on local radio was proposed.

Now, following feedback from staff and audiences, adjustments have been made to increase the number of afternoon and weekend programmes across the BBC’s 39 local stations. Future plans for dedicated programming on BBC Local Radio for Black and Asian audiences have also been announced.

The community programmes shows will become more accessible by moving from their traditional single Sunday evening slot to new programmes on Monday and Friday evenings. The number of stations featuring community programming will increase from 20 to 33. On BBC Introducing and BBC Upload programmes, these will be broadcast as part of the schedule on Thursday and Saturday evenings.

In addition, the BBC will be giving more prominence to new music artists on BBC Sounds and across our local radio schedule. Full line-ups and schedule information will be announced later this year.

Elsewhere in local radio, the updated plans include:
· Increasing the proposed number of afternoon weekday programmes from 18 to 20 between 2pm and 6pm
· Increasing the proposed number of weekend daytime shows from 12 to 18 between 10am and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday mornings
· Revising proposed pairings of stations in response to feedback from audiences

Jason Horton, Director of Production, BBC Local, commented: “Our goal over the next 12 months is to modernise our BBC Local services in England to strengthen our online provision for communities across the country. We have listened carefully to the feedback we have received about proposed changes to BBC Local Radio programming. As a result, we are making a number of amendments to the original plan in order to strike the best possible balance between live and on-demand services.”

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