10/07/2011 The Politics Show West Midlands


10/07/2011

Jon Sopel and Patrick Burns are here with the top political stories of the week.


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In the Midlands, you are now watching regional television, but

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would you watch local TV? We will see how it is already working in

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Birmingham, Alabama, as ministers prepare their plans for local

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2372 seconds

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All politics is local. Well, so said the late Tip O'Neill, but all

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television is definitely not local. This programme is about as closer

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and personal as regional television gets, and we cover a giant region

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from the Cotswolds are to the Staffordshire moorlands with a

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population of 6 million. So, how can it be right, asks the Culture

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Secretary that the city the size of Birmingham has no truly local TV

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stations, while Birmingham Alabama has for? It is not just about the

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big cities. We are joined by the chief executive of six TV, the UK's

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largest TV licence holder. They have designs on serving South

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Warwickshire. Fare is two key points of. It is partly access to

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local news and information, and holding local politicians to

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account. The other. Makes creating an advertising opportunity for

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local businesses who come at the moment don't have access to a

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freaky and terrestrial television. We are joined by Gavin Williamson,

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the Conservative MP, and by David Wright, the Labour MP. Our

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correspondent has been to that Visiting America, you notice they

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do have a lot more local TV than we do, like this channel in Birmingham

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Alabama. So, we're spending the day here and we're not the only new

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boys' comic it is Scott Packard's new day, too. The day starts at the

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meeting. Looking at this potential running order, this could be an

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edition of our programme. Were we have Bacher's with TB affecting

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farmers, they have armadillos with rabies. What about the differences?

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There are four stations providing local news in this part of America,

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all funded by advertising. So he wants advertise on local TV here?

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If you drive through town, you will see 17 fast food restaurants and

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they're all interested in advertising. So, everyone. We take

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it. This is one argument for local TV in the UK, but there is an

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untapped, under served pool of potential advertisers. One Midlands

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ad agency has crunched the numbers and doubts that. Because I can see

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that there would be any real demand from punt - - from the consumer, I

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can see he would be watching it. If the TV station has a got an

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audience, then they haven't got anything to sell. Others, who have

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already expressed an interest in local TV, disagree. I am the

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chairman of the theatre company that owns 40 theatres. We can't

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afford to advertise on regional television. We would love to

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advertise on local television. I think there is a market there.

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Someone has to go out and find it and sell it. There is no doubt that

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the local market leader can make news day, but can they produce news

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more cheaply than we do? But, everyone keeps a tight rein on

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costs and for the new boy in the studio, this is luxury to where he

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started. This was my first taste of the daily meeting. The television

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station I came from was very small. It was just a few reporters he had

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to do everything. I have hired three people in the last four years

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you're as old as my children, so why am hiring someone who is 25

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were 26 years old. They had been in an even smaller market for a couple

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of years and hopefully got on the floor polish, they may bring them

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here. So, if you reduce costs and find a new source of advertising

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revenue, could this work in the UK? We are not trying to bring the

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whole American system of work, the government wants to graft a little

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bit of it on to our existing set-up. Will that work?

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We will not have to wait long to find out. They are due to start

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going on air in the year. Incidentally, there is more on the

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political background to all of this on my block - - blog. A lot of

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people tell me that there is a reshuffle in the air and that she

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are highly regarded, and an effective minister, and that you're

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facing the possible promotion to a bigger department. If that happens,

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what would you like your legacy to be remembered for? I would like us

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to have a thriving local TV sector, so that your constituents hold

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their local politician to account in a way that power national media

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is so successful in all the non- national politicians to account.

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Gavin Williamson, which should be up for this? Very much so. I think

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there will be a fantastic platform for local politics. Would you want

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to be held to account in this way? I think it would be great. I don't

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think there is a lot of political disagreement on this. I think it

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would be a real opportunity for people to engage with a member of

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parliament. A clear lesson from that piece from Alabama is that the

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mystics - - most successful local television stations in America are

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backed by the big networks, whereas here the government wants to go for

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something that is much more bottom- up. I think it will lead to real

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proper local television. I do think there will be a high degree of co-

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ordination between local channels and back felling. People will not

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want local news 24 hours a day. They will want good quality

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television, so there will be an off lot of co-ordination. Do you think

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it would need the big commercial broadcasters to get involved, or

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cannot all be left to local, small people. I think there will be a

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mixed approach over the coming years. I think there is an

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opportunity for other media to enter the market. If you live cats

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the local paper in the local area, it already has as a major part of

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its website video clip news. But do you think, bottom up or top-down?

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In America they do have both and stations are not forced to

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affiliate with the network, they do so voluntarily. I think this

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bottom-up approach, I believe that is the right approach. All the

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indications are that will be down to us to decide to be one to work

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with other parties, and I believe we will. Let me to win what

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somebody said on this, if the ITV regions could not survive without

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merging together a most commercial radio stations are very similar,

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how do they expect local television to survive? 10 or 15 years ago I

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would have said that, but I believe everything has changed. Looking at

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how television can be made with graduates to know how to use light

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week - - lightweight cameras and laptops, I think it is possible.

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One of the things that Greg Dyke said was that local television,

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rather than in big cities like Birmingham, is the way to go, but

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the Government is talking about television in the 20 or so bigger

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cities. I think it has got to start off there. I think it has got to

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show that the format can survive. Talking to many businesses, there

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is a real appetite to target their advertising spend and directed to

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the consumers that are trying to get through the door. We all know

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that the regional press, well, some people say it is in terminal

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decline with revenues drying up. think we can create those

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partnerships at regional print media and I think that is a

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potential way forward. One of the biggest media organisations this

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week has come under tremendous pressure and I think there will be

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a kickback against that. I think it will be looking for more local news

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and diversity. Since he raised the question, trust in journalism is

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one of the issues. How can local television, how can we be sure that

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the standards will be maintained? When you talk about local

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television, it is not necessarily a low-quality TV. You have got a lot

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of regional media groups, a lot of local papers, excellent journalism

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already thriving. They can be tapped into. Do you think you can

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reassure people about standards? One of the things I think is

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interesting, the BBC did some experiments and local TV a few

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years ago and they managed to put BBC brand values on the sort of

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model we are talking about with a handful of video journalists. If

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the BBC can do it, anyone can do it. You can follow us at any time on

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The government clearly hoped that local TV will be a resounding

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success, but what do you want? big talking point today, can local

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television services succeed where many have failed? When a wave of

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local television stations come along in the 1990s, these

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journalism students were toddlers, now they are the next generation of

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television talent. You might remember stations like Coventry

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Cable, all short lived, often because of shoestring budgets.

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Local TV television in Britain has failed repeatedly, so why should it

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work now that people have a choice of 500 television channels?

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Birmingham is a very dynamic city and deserves a dynamic TV station.

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City TV broadcasting says it wants a terrestrial licence. This could

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be their penthouse studio. They will take on 50 people. They would

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choose civic journalists. City TV will have the very best people.

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This is not amateur night. Birmingham needs it. What impact

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can you Service have on the market place? I would be worried if I was

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a local newspaper, but we can work with them. ITV and BBC, they

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deliver local news, and not in the style but we will. So, what would

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you like to see on your local TV service? We came to Stoke on Trent

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so people here could put us in the picture. I'd go out a lot and it

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would be a lot easier than having to look upon social networks when

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there would be gigs. I would like to see more children's football.

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Articles regarding the area itself. The government will give more

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detail this month, but we know that the BBC will contribute �40 million

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towards its development. The voice of the Listener is very concerned

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about licence fee payer's money going to this project. This project

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is far from guaranteed to succeed. Whilst there could be very valuable,

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we don't think it is economic viable.

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In 2005 the BBC piloted a local television service and I was a

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video journalist there looking for unusual stories in Coventry. But

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the service was not taken on. The BBC Trust said it could not invest

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- - justify the investment. So, a political weather forecast. There

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are local TV services working their way up getting licences by 2012.

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They may come to rely on product placement and strong advertising.

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They will also have fewer staff. That is because the next generation

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of journalists are told the job of three people. We can edit, film, do

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interviews. Having more channels has always a good thing in terms of

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media students because it is very difficult at the moment to get into

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the big companies. It is the appetite of viewers that will be

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critical and will decide whether advertisers will follow and if

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local television will ultimately succeed.

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Since he completed their report, the BBC have issued a statement

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confirming their support for Iraq - The BBC have said that they will

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support this. Some people have is the very against BBC money going to

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support this project. I do to some extent agreed. We don't know how

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the money will be spent. We, as a company, have never asked for

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public subsidy. We don't think we need support. If the money has been

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used to support community training and enable licensee - - licence-fee

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payers to make local programmes, I would support that. Are you

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comfortable at this? We want local TV to be about local interest and

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reader wanted a car than copy of the other channels already on TV.

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If that money can go towards securing good local content, it

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would be money well spent. support what Gavin is saying. We

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want to see diversity. So, a local station in Shropshire made you can

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feel very different to a station elsewhere. People watch TV

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different Lea now. People don't sit down necessarily and watch a whole

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range of programmes. They perhaps draw them up on video devices and

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watch them in a different way. People watch to be differently.

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last time we had some local cable channels like Coventry Cable, when

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people had five TV channels to choose from, it didn't work. Now

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with the choice of 500 for many people, how can it work? This will

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not be 24 hour rolling local news. It will be hide local interest

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content, but with high quality programmes backing that up.

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thought the BBC pilot a few years ago was really good. You could tune

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in at the set time in an hour and watch a segment in local news that

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is very relevant to your area. would you tailor it to the local

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demands of the viewing public? think it failed in the past because

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it was not on the number one TV platform, technically it was very

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bad. We do think that local news as a very high demand and that there

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would be blocks of local news in the morning and evening wear we

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will have local news and information. We have got plans for

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local politics discussions, arts programmes, and we are working with

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other local programmes in other regions so we can work with them.

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If you don't have big ambitions she never achieve anything. I think

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this could be a really positive contribution to local democracy. It

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does give the public an opportunity to pierced - - put us on the spot.

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You have a lot to do if you went to have the sudden running in the year.

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The government appointed have a slightly longer than that, but, I

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agree, there are companies like us and others who are now raring to go.

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Well, to be continued. We will watch with a great deal of interest.

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