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Local broadcasting is dying out with a whimper. We'll miss it when it's gone

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Driving into Nottingham a few years ago, I remember seeing posters for new “local” radio shows hosted by Myleene Klass and the tall one from JLS. It was a strange scene that has likely been replicated across the country, where once genuinely local output is replaced by a celebrity presenter sitting in a central London studio.

In recent years, the idiosyncrasies and charm of regional shows have quietly been replaced by a cheaper, identikit radio. In 2019, Global Radio replaced the 40-plus local breakfast shows across its Capital, Smooth and Heart networks with just three nationwide programmes hosted from London. The formula was simple enough: replace local hosts with big names based in the capital and beam one blanket service out to the regions.

Now the commercial group Bauer has announced plans to fold almost 50 regional radio outlets into a national network. It means dozens more towns and cities across England will lose their own distinctive local radio stations later this year, with stations such as York’s Minster FM and the West Midlands’ Signal 107 being replaced with largely syndicated programmes made in London, hundreds of miles from the communities they serve.

It has also recently emerged that the BBC is considering axing its regional........

© The Guardian

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