By Emmanuel Oluebube, Senior Correspondent UK
Ofcom has agreed to Local TV Limited’s request to consolidate the studios/main production bases for some of its local TV channels.
While the number of physical premises will be reduced, the regulator says it is satisfied that the changes will still allow Local TV Limited to deliver on its commitment to provide local content to viewers.
Local TV Limited’s journalists will continue to operate within the licensed area of each service, spending more time in the heart of the communities they serve, including on the collection, development and recording of interviews on location. Journalists will also be recruited from and will reside within the Licensed Area of the local TV service they are reporting for.
Stated Ofcom: “In reaching our decision, we considered that the ‘localness’ policy initially introduced for local TV channels can today be achieved in different ways, given developments in technology and lessons learned about the delivery and production of local content during the coronavirus pandemic.
We also took into account the sustainability of these services, given the financial challenges that the local TV sector continues to face. It was also our view that the cost and resources required to maintain separate physical premises may be better invested in the production of local content for viewers.
We expect Local TV Limited to continue to meet the localness programme commitments in its licences. Should it fail to do so, we can take enforcement action against it.”