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Westminster Media Forum

What a bunch of moaning minnies

A good morning today attending the Westminster Media Forum looking at local media and its future.

There were some great speeches and facts from people who know what they are talking about, and then an awful lot of rubbish from people who don't. Some people will never be happy...

A few facts to end the day.

  • Local TV is a success, there are now 17 stations on air, broadcasting to about nine million UK homes.
  • The BBC has not 'given' money to the local licensees: it has bought content from them at a very competitive price.
  • The huge publicly-funded infrastructure project that supports the broadcast network was delivered on-time and on-budget.
  • Early indications in research are that stations in Norwich, Nottingham and Brighton, as well as Leeds, Newcastle, Bristol and Cardiff are getting good local audiences and high brand recognition.
  • This week a group of the stations began broadcasting a network break, sold to national advertisers.
There are lots of new opportunities for local television, and I do worry that some of the projects and plans to help make money for local television have dropped by the wayside, but these licenses are for twelve years, and there is still time to launch new projects, find new national ways to work together, and to prove the moaning minnies wrong. At EMP we have some of these projects under way to try and help.

PS If you were one of the doubters who said that local TV would be about cats stuck up trees, then how wrong you were. It's actually about cats with their own cafes.