Capital, Heart and Smooth to slash local radio shows as they go nationwide
Local breakfast programmes will be axed and replaced by London-based shows presented by big-name talent like Strictly's Vick Hope
Global Media is set to slash dozens of local radio programmes across the UK as part of its plans to launch nationwide breakfast shows on its stations Capital, Heart and Smooth.
Over 40 local breakfast programmes will be culled and replaced with the three stations' London output.
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Heart's current slate of 22 regional breakfast programmes will be slashed to just one national broadcast later this year, as will Capital's 14 regional breakfast shows, which will be replaced in April 2019 by the station's London-based programme presented by former Strictly star Vick Hope and Roman Kemp.
The move follows a change in Ofcom guidelines for local radio, which now allow stations to produce just three hours of regional-based content a day.
Global's "refreshed structures" could result in over 100 jobs lost, according to the BBC, and have already been dubbed a "terrible blow" by Labour's deputy leader and shadow culture secretary Tom Watson.
"Replacing local voices with London-based presenters will be a terrible loss to communities across the country," he said.
In addition to local breakfast shows, the number of regional drivetime programmes will also be reduced, while all locally-produced evening and nighttime content will be axed. Ten of Global's 24 regional stations — Brighton, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Exeter, Gloucester, Kendal, Kent, Lancaster, Norwich and Swindon — will also be shut down.