The Telegraph today came up with this story!
If it is true an happens Frank Gillard the man who led the BBC into the world of Local Radio, I am sure will be turning in his grave. I met Frank Gillard many times when he visited my bosses office in Broadcasting House to undertake interviews for the oral history of the BBC!
BBC considering merging Five Live with local radio stations
Corporation understood to be examining proposals to axe huge swathes of local radio shows, and replacing them with Five Live programmes
The BBC is considering merging Five Live with its 40 local radio stations, as part of the corporation’s plans to meet a £550 million savings target.
BBC sources said executives are examining a proposal under which local stations would see their output cut to just breakfast and drive-time shows, with the rest of the schedule filled with Five Live programming. The local outlets already carry the sports network overnight.
The proposals are thought to be similar to plans mooted five years ago, during a previous cost-cutting round. There have been ongoing suggestions that Five Live faces cutbacks, but the corporation has strongly denied suggestions that the network could go online-only.
Photo: BBC/Jeff Overs
Roger Mosey, a former controller of 5 Live, said a merger could leave the station “in line for emasculation”. Criticising the corporation for cutting its sport budgets, Mr Mosey said that the move was symptomatic of an approach in which “the affluent heartland audiences are protected, and the arts world indulged, while sport is raided.”
He wrote in Radio Times: “A comprehensive sport portfolio is incompatible with becoming a part-time station, which would be Five Live’s fate if it merged with local services.”
A BBC spokesman said no decisions had been taken, adding: “We’re proud so many people share our passion for Five Live’s brilliant news and sports coverage.”