A dedicated BBC Radio Nottingham listener of 50 years says proposed cuts to local radio would be like losing a “best friend.”
Loyal Geraldine Ellis now 72 has been tuning into her favourite station since the early 1970’s and has been left devastated by the news that Radio Nottingham is facing major changes.
The corporation is cutting shows across 39 stations in England and plans to share content between Nottingham, Derby and Stoke from 2pm.
Geraldine from West Bridgford said: “I don’t understand why it’s changing, it works perfectly, and we still have national news every hour.
“Local radio gives you a cheery background, I will certainly continue to listen at breakfast, but we are losing the importance of local and traffic news unless they filter it into the regional shows.
“I’ve been a listener for at least 50 years since Dennis McCarthy, I’m one of those listeners who secretly rings up and tries to find the answer to the presenter’s quiz question.”
Online news services will be boosted in local areas as the BBC aim to become more digital, creating an extra 131 roles in local news services.
“With local radio there’s an amazing touch, It’s like having a best friend.”
Geraldine Ellis, BBC Radio Nottingham listener
Local radio is the sole company for some people, it gives them the ability to get involved and stay connected with their community.
She added: “With local radio there’s an amazing touch, it’s like having a best friend you wake up to in the morning and afternoon.”
Listening habits have changed in recent years due to streaming services making music and podcasts readily available which has divided opinions on whether radio as a whole will survive.
However, for many listeners, local radio is a companion especially when they are alone which was proven during the Covid-19 pandemic.
BBC Radio Nottingham presenter Arun Verma, whose weekday evening shows are at risk said: “Some people find local radio as their companion and other people use it as a passive engagement they put on in the car.
“We know radio habits and people can change what they’re consuming so fast but nevertheless one of those options surely has to be local.”
From 6am until 2pm all 39 networks will remain broadcasting, although the evening shows are at risk of being affected.
BBC Radio Nottingham will share their shows with Stoke and Derby from 2pm until 6pm.
Nottingham will also share broadcast with Derby, Leicestershire, and Lincolnshire from 6pm onwards on weekdays and weekend breakfast from 10-2pm.
Rhodri Talfan Davies, director of Nations, told the BBC: “These are ambitious and far-reaching proposals to grow the value we deliver to local audiences everywhere.
“The plans will help us connect with more people in more communities right across England – striking a better balance between our broadcast and online services – and ensuring we remain a cornerstone of local life for generations to come.”
Changes to local BBC stations are to be done by in stages and completed by 2023.
- BBC Radio Nottingham first went on air on January 31 1968.
- TV personality Hughie Green wanted to take over BBC Radio Nottingham and turn it into a commercial station.
- The funeral of presenter Dennis McCarthy had twenty thousand listeners line the streets.
- In the early days the station was only on the air for a few hours each day.