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darcysarto

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Matthew Bannister 'Wins' BBC Local Evenings
« on: September 17, 2012, 06:03:02 PM »
A new company formed by former BBC Executive Matthew Bannister has won the right to make the first all purpose national local radio programme.

From January 2013 the likes of Roger Day in the South, Sue Marchant in the East, Duncan Warren in the South West, Keith Warmington in the West and countless other specialist music and cultural shows will be dumped from their evening slots and be replaced by a generic one-size-fits-all national 'local' programme.

At least its a fairly safe bet that we won't be getting the Scary Cornflake as a presenter.

http://radiotoday.co.uk/2012/09/matthew-bannister-wins-bbc-local-evenings/

Quote

The syndicated BBC Local Radio evening show contract has been awarded to a new company set up by the former BBC executive.

Bannister and his partner former BBC Asian Network Head of Programmes, Husain Husaini have set up Wire Free Productions and this is their first major production.

Plans were announced in May for the new show which will be syndicated across all 39 BBC local radio stations in England and the Channel Islands from Monday 7 January 2012, on weekdays between 7-10 pm.

Speaking today, David Holdsworth, Controller, BBC English Regions, said, The competition was extremely strong as youd expect. We were looking for an organisation that understands the local radio audience and can deliver real experience and expertise in what we know is a very demanding slot. We believe we have found that combination in Wire Free Productions.

Matthew Bannister said, I cant think of a better way to launch our new journalistic production company, Wire Free Productions, than being given the opportunity to make this programme for all the BBCs Local Radio stations. Husain Husaini and I both started our careers in local radio. We know it is a much loved service for millions of listeners and were really looking forward to creating a new and very special show for them. The programme will be an engaging and lively companion to their evening bringing the very best of each days output on BBC local stations to a much wider audience and making connections between communities in different parts of the country.

Bidders for the contract were asked to submit their ideas for a speech-led programme that would entertain and inform adults aged 50+ with creativity and quality at its core. Central to the brief was how bidders might engage and interact with listeners as well as showcase the very best of BBC Local Radio output.

Andrew Robson, Head of Local Radio Development, managed the bid process and commented, With the combined local radio and network experience of Husain and Matthew, Im really looking forward to building a new show in the evening that shares some of the most compelling stories from all 39 of our radio stations. Storytelling is at the heart of BBC Local Radio. Together with a unique mix of music and topicality this new show will be completely in-keeping with the tone and feel of all our radio stations.


Tiger

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Re: Matthew Bannister 'Wins' BBC Local Evenings
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 08:01:58 PM »
I have to say that I cannot feel positive about this.

The very first thing to say, would be that the Pan England broadcast on LOCAL BBC stations has emerged from a cost cutting agenda by BBC executives. Am I alone in feeling very uneasy that a BBC executive(allbeit with the credentials of Mr Bannister) has won this project and will commercially gain. When perhaps it may have been more appropriate for him to put on a public service coat and actually question why cuts have to be made to BBC local radio(a lifeline and cornerstone of local democracy) whilst there is
what can only be described as ill judged overspend elsewhere(including the toxic issue of BBC executive pay)?


The next thing to say is very easy indeed. BBC local radio..is local..absolutely local, that means that it is INTERACTIVE..that is its USP. I am sure that a round up over 3 hours every day of what happened on the stations will be insightful and interesting, a sort of listening project(oops yes, that is already being done by Radio4 and it is rightfully judged as small segments)As a listener in Surrey, I am interested in what happens in Surrey as a consumer of news I will combine local and international listening..I love Cumbria and Cornwall but with every respect if I want to hear their input I will tune into those stations.


The importance of BBC local radio is that it is local and interactive and that might well not be delivered as a polished presentation of all of England but that is its strength and the reason that it has listeners AND I have no idea at all what sort of audience could possibly exist for an England show on BBC local stations?

All that can be said is that unless listeners make their views apparent, quite strongly, BBC local radio will soon become something to be archived.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 09:07:39 PM by Tiger »

Rita

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Re: Matthew Bannister 'Wins' BBC Local Evenings
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2012, 12:01:46 AM »
Yes Tiger I agree with you - I can't feel positive about this either.  The local stations themselves
understand their own audience and what they want to entertain them.  With respect to the company who have won the contract - how can they possibly know each individual audience in all the regions - and what is required by them?  Have they even polled the audience to ask them - I think not!  It is a case of wait and see, which is going to be mind boggling!  Listeners need to make their views known - because, if they don't, then it's no use moaning if they get a programme that doesn't suit them.  If they switch to other stations to find something that more suits their needs, then local radio will indeed be archived - and that would be a great pity - no, I take that back - it would be a calamity! It doesn't matter how experienced this company is, they still need the backing of the audiences.  They can't read minds, and I think the listeners should be consulted. I know this would not be possible or indeed practical - but panels could and should be set up in each region, to give their views about all this!  If the listeners just let this happen, then they have only themselves to blame if things cease to be satisfactory.

Radioman

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Re: Matthew Bannister 'Wins' BBC Local Evenings
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2012, 10:17:19 AM »
The key point for me is the bit that states:

"The programme will be an engaging and lively companion to their evening bringing the very best of each days output on BBC local stations to a much wider audience and making connections between communities in different parts of the country."

I interpret this as meaning that a lot of the content will be sourced from BBC local radio stations and it will be a bit like a radio version of the old BBC One Nationwide (elements of which are contained within The One Show).

Therefore, it could be argued they don't need to know the individual audiences, because they will merely be reflecting what is being talked about/discussed already in those areas by the audiences.

It could also be argued that this will actually bring local issues to the attention of a much wider audience, which is quite a positive thing.

The fact is that BBC LR has to make savings, along with the rest of the BBC. You could cut all the senior management within the BBC and there'd still be tens of millions of pounds to find (and no-one to lead the organisation). It is surely preferable to replace an off peak programme with shared output than a peak time programme?

darcysarto

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Re: Matthew Bannister 'Wins' BBC Local Evenings
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2012, 07:46:13 PM »
You've gotta love John Myers.



It was also he who (I believe) said the BBC could save 25% from management cuts alone in his report on national radio.  And David Lloyds analysis for the Radio Centre concluded that all savings could be made without touching output.

Smashyandnicey

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Re: Matthew Bannister 'Wins' BBC Local Evenings
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2012, 08:50:35 PM »
This has to be one of the best moves for local radio in the last two decades. A man who stripped out the dead wood and outdated practices at Radio One now tasked to do the same at the sinecure for wannabees, has been's and dreamers who broadcast to the Horlick sippers with hot water bottles and a telephone.

That's BBC Local Radio in the evening. A haven for dire music,dire presenters and the same telephone conversations over and over again.

Blood On The Carpet (Part 2)

For part 3 ......
I want to see local radio stripped back to it's bones. Just good quality local reporting from across the patch with prime time breakfast, lunch and drive and the mid mornings and afternoons networked.

For too long we have funded a happy haven for third rate people who live off the back of the licence payer and get a nice fat pension when they retire.

Tiger

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Re: Matthew Bannister 'Wins' BBC Local Evenings
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2012, 10:27:04 PM »
It is sad to hear your opinions expressed in the way that they are SandN.


I hope that you will forgive me for making an observation. From your use of language and your tone and your smiley use. I fear that you do not , perhaps have the ability to understand the nature of BBC local radio.


You see when I listen, what I hear is something very different indeed. Let us take your caller talking about an autumn evening and a chill in the air and what that meant..you know guess what? that is actually what people are talking about and that observation often leads into something more significant.


Everyday on my local station I hear my community interacting, for example a father almost in tears about his daughter being bullied at school and then a considerable reaction from listeners with similar stories and giving support to him. That happens every day in different ways and in different contexts.

AND there are local reactions to national news, local reactions to local news, holding those making the news to account.


I wonder, what you want? What subjects would you want talked about?

Or are you, perhaps, and that comes across quite strongly, someone who likes lots of jingles and possibly competitions?

Radioman

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Re: Matthew Bannister 'Wins' BBC Local Evenings
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2012, 05:39:23 PM »
Smashie and Nicey's jaundiced view of BBC LR is one that is shared by a few who work in the BBC, particularly in London. Local radio staff often complain about the patronising attitude of network staff who think they are superior. Local radio has always been the poor relation, and those lifers who spend their careers there are viewed by some as failures without the talent to hack it on one of the networks. As with any business, there will be members of local radio staff who are coasters or have been promoted beyond their talents, but I've certainly come across many fantastic journalists, presenters and backroom staff who are extremely capable but choose for whatever reason (eg: family) to stay within local radio.

Tiger

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Re: Matthew Bannister 'Wins' BBC Local Evenings
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2012, 06:45:38 PM »
Smashie and Nicey's jaundiced view of BBC LR is one that is shared by a few who work in the BBC, particularly in London. Local radio staff often complain about the patronising attitude of network staff who think they are superior. Local radio has always been the poor relation, and those lifers who spend their careers there are viewed by some as failures without the talent to hack it on one of the networks. As with any business, there will be members of local radio staff who are coasters or have been promoted beyond their talents, but I've certainly come across many fantastic journalists, presenters and backroom staff who are extremely capable but choose for whatever reason (eg: family) to stay within local radio.


Thankyou,RM, that is a well judged observation.


Local radio should never be seen as a stepping stone or a graveyard of those who did not get further. It is a very important medium, and it is by no means perfect but that lack of smooth polish may well be its USP and at the end of the day we all want human rather than overproduced plastic.


And the journalism is  first rate and unique because it is proper investigatitive reporting. It does not rely on second hand churnalism and PR releases. Which national journalism tends to. And lets hope the powers with the purses realise that at the helm of the BBC .

Tiger

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Re: Matthew Bannister 'Wins' BBC Local Evenings
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2012, 07:11:55 PM »
Yes Tiger I agree with you - I can't feel positive about this either.  The local stations themselves
understand their own audience and what they want to entertain them.  With respect to the company who have won the contract - how can they possibly know each individual audience in all the regions - and what is required by them?  Have they even polled the audience to ask them - I think not!  It is a case of wait and see, which is going to be mind boggling!  Listeners need to make their views known - because, if they don't, then it's no use moaning if they get a programme that doesn't suit them.  If they switch to other stations to find something that more suits their needs, then local radio will indeed be archived - and that would be a great pity - no, I take that back - it would be a calamity! It doesn't matter how experienced this company is, they still need the backing of the audiences.  They can't read minds, and I think the listeners should be consulted. I know this would not be possible or indeed practical - but panels could and should be set up in each region, to give their views about all this!  If the listeners just let this happen, then they have only themselves to blame if things cease to be satisfactory.


AND actually the survival of BBC local radio depends upon its audience, which is the only reason that it exists. It is not about the egos of the presenters but only about how they are received.


Rita's post is probably the best way of putting that, in fact it is the best that I have ever read or seen on the subject.


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