UK’s Global Radio to network Breakfast, 43 local shows axed
UK radio network Global Radio is set to broadcast national breakfast shows on the Capital, Heart and Smooth networks by the end of this year.
Radio Today UK has revealed that 43 Breakfast shows and 24 Drive shows will be axed across the Global network as part of the move.
The move will see the creation of the three largest commercial radio breakfast shows in the UK, with 4.8m at Heart, 3.7m at Capital and 2.7 million listeners for Smooth each week.
It also means that 10 studio sites will be closed, reducing the number of broadcast centres from 24 to 14.
Capital will go first with the London output replacing 14 Breakfast programmes on the Capital network in England, Scotland and Wales on April 8th.
Due to deregulation and larger ‘approved areas’, only nine drivetime shows will be provided instead of the current 14.
London, Liverpool, North East and Yorkshire will retain a local Drive show, along with Scotland and Wales. The rest of the output will be networked with local news, ads and information.
Heart will get a single Breakfast show across England, Scotland and Wales on all stations owned by Global and Communicorp in the coming months – putting an end to the current line-up of 22 Breakfast shows and their teams.
Instead of 23 separate Drivetime shows, there will be 10 covering the enlarged areas.
For Smooth, a new national Breakfast show will launch later in the year, replacing breakfast programmes in East Midlands, West Midlands, North West, Lake District, North East, Scotland and Wales.
Drivetime programmes will be reduced to seven with the expected merger of Smooth North West and Lake District, whilst Smooth East Midlands will network with Connect FM once it has been rebranded.
All local and regional weekend programmes on all brands will end with national programmes provided on all frequencies.
Global’s Founder & Executive President Ashley Tabor made the announcement to staff overnight.
“Whilst the new deregulation will mean some significant changes at an operational level, these bold steps enable Global to lead the way in launching the UK’s three largest national commercial radio breakfast shows,” Tabor told Radio Today.
“We’re really excited to combine the best national talent with our unique ability to include great local content in network shows on Heart, Capital and Smooth.”
As a direct result of this move, a large number of presenters and staff will no longer be required across the group.
Those affected will be put at risk of redundancy, with some being transferred to other sites. An exact number of those being put at risk today are unknown but are expected to be over 100 people.
For full details of the sites closing, as well as analysis of the implications of the changes on UK radio on the whole, head to Radio Today UK‘s original report.
Could this be a sign of things to come in Australia, and which Breakfast shows, if any, could be networked successfully?
Let us know in the comments.