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Local radio jobs at risk as East Anglian stations to be consolidated in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 15:12 04 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:12 04 July 2017

Radio Norwich offices. Picture: Google

Radio Norwich offices. Picture: Google

Archant

Local radio stations across East Anglia are to see their entertainment programming consolidated in Norwich as part of an effort to “secure their futures”.

Radio Norwich, North Norfolk Radio, The Beach, Dream 100 and Town 102 will have their music and entertainment programming brought into the Norwich hub with a number of roles at risk of redundancy.

The move was given the green light by Ofcom today (Tuesday) and staff were informed of the changes in a meeting on Monday.

As it stands programming comes from two bases at Norwich and Ipswich. While the news teams will remain in Ipswich, the lease for the building is due to expire in 2018, and programming is set to be moved to Norwich by the autumn, according to a source at owners Celador.

Celador took control of the former Anglian Radio Group in January of this year, and the source said one of their primary objectives was to “reduce costs”.

But they added: “As far as I am concerned there will be no more cuts of any kind.”

Explaining the changes, they said: “The entertainment side of programming is going to be all produced from Norwich from the autumn. We will keep our news operation with the same number of journalists based in Ipswich.

“We are consolidating entertainment presenters and the music which will come from one place.”

The source added the company “would not dream of touching our news teams”, explaining jobs at risk were in programming, and there was a “minimal” discrepancy in numbers.

“They have all had interviews and we have asked them if they are interested in taking on the jobs which are available,” they said.

“We must be able to give coverage to any story that deserves it in each area with a reporter no more than an hour away.”

Each of the stations covered by Celador in East Anglia has a potential listener base of less than 250,000 people, which creates a challenging environment for advertising revenue.

“There is a very long history of the particular plight of stations of the size of ours,” said the source at Celador. “These stations would be at risk of closing if we were not to consolidate. North Norfolk Radio has less than 100,000 potential listeners - it is a loss making station and will remain so for us.

“By consolidating all these stations we secure the future for each individual one of them.”

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