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.

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27 Feb 2019 - 8:21 am

This is incredibly troubling and I really feel for anyone in UK radio at the moment. Must be a very scary time.

27 Feb 2019 - 8:49 am

You would network Eddie’s show. He is well known and so is Will Anderson. SCA have looked at before but now is the time. he has universal appeal and is known for his TV work. Everyone knows Eddie. I can see the billboard now. Eddie has an ego he would do it.

Frank Simins
27 Feb 2019 - 8:57 am

Must be tough to be told of your impending redundancy by a man who wanted to build a 200 million pound ten room flat.

Work experience boy
27 Feb 2019 - 9:03 am

You would combine the best of the Sydney and Melbourne shows. ” Fitzy Sam and Chrissie ” and run it nationally. no brainer.

27 Feb 2019 - 9:42 am

Wow this is huge news. Only a matter of time before more networking happens here too. I can’t see breakfast networking happening just yet – they are still so local to each market – but workday you’d think is only a matter of time in cap cities particular with the Hit/Nova networks.

27 Feb 2019 - 9:43 am

And people think things are bad here in Oz?

27 Feb 2019 - 10:03 am

Kyle and Jackie National Breakfast and Hughesy and Kate National Drive

27 Feb 2019 - 11:37 am

Kyle Sanderlands and Jackie O would rate in any market.

Jayme Doran
27 Feb 2019 - 12:12 pm

In Australia It has already happened to some stations:
– 4BC Brisbane airing a relay of 2GB Programs with the exception of local news, traffic, ads and Drive from 2-5pm during daylight savings in southern states, 3-6pm in the winter months
– Macquarie Sports Radio (Consisting of the old 4BH Brisbane, 2UE Sydney & Magic 1278 Melbourne) with the exception of local news, traffic and ads

As for the UK decision, this is ridiculous and must be overturned, this is a huge mistake which will cost them and also their listenership dearly.

27 Feb 2019 - 1:46 pm

This is what happens when you don’t invest money back into content and talent. The industry shrivels up and theres less to choose from for the one or two shows that you do have. Decisions like this will kill anybody’s drive to get into radio. Really hope Australia, the best radio market in the world, doesn’t see this and try to follow suit.

Danny D
27 Feb 2019 - 2:53 pm

When management keep saying “radio is alive and well” they mean for shareholders, not the workers.

27 Feb 2019 - 3:25 pm

Work experience boy has nailed it.
Pool ALL resources and pump out the shows nationally.
Have market specific LOCAL pieces streamed into the relevant markets as required.

Marto,Moonman,Robin,Eddie and Will for breakfast.

Kyle and Jackie.

Fitzy,Sam and Chrissie.

All can work from remote locations….as they do now.
Sooner the better.

Neil Docherty
27 Feb 2019 - 6:40 pm

Smooth are already doing it thru the day, night and weekends

28 Feb 2019 - 3:31 am

National breakfast works for Triple J. Even Jones and Hadley networked into Brisbane works. Only a matter of time. Quality content works in any market that’s the bottom line.


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