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New opportunities for BBC Local Radio in Dorset?
Sat 20 Oct 2018

The Dorset Broadcasting Action Group (DorBAG)

As previously reported, Lord Tony Hall**, BBC's Director General, has moved Local Radio to join Local TV under the wing of Ken MacQuarrie (now Director of Nations and Regions) See link here in order to give it more focus. Following a positive reply to Sir Oliver Letwin's letter in the spring, Tony Hall asked Ken MacQuarrie to look into the Dorset issue (Tony indicated a degree of sympathy having read our diabolical history of dealings with the BBC!).

Since then, Ken MacQuarrie has replaced the departing David Holdsworth, who was "Head of English Regions", with Helen Thomas, who has a new and bigger role/title "Director of BBC England". See this link. Note Quote: "Helen is one of the BBC's most senior and experienced executives in England and is currently leading the work to reinvent BBC local radio. Prior to that, she was in charge of regional and local programming in Yorkshire, the biggest BBC region. She was heavily involved in the BBC's successful coverage of Hull UK City of Culture 2017". Perhaps more fertile ground for our case?

We initially understood that Helen Thomas & Ken MacQuarrie would be attending a meeting with DorBAG, but that has changed as Helen has now hired a new Head of Local Radio (a new post initiated by Tony Hall), a Chris Burns. As a result Sir Oliver Letwin has arranged a meeting in Westminster with Helen and Chris on 8th January 2019. Oliver will be taking two or three DorBAG representatives.

We will obviously give an update after that meeting and hope we will be able to hold a DorBAG meeting with Helen and the Chris in the spring/early summer next year, by which time we would hope we will be making some real progress.

** Tony Hall has been putting more focus on Local Radio to combat fake news see this link

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