Derry City & Strabane -  Mayor expresses disappointment at Radio Foyle revised cuts announcement




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Mayor expresses disappointment at Radio Foyle revised cuts announcement

10 March 2023

 Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Sandra Duffy has described the revised programme schedule changes announced by the BBC today for Radio Foyle as extremely disappointing and encouraged the public to continue to support the Save Radio Foyle Campaign.

Mayor Duffy, who travelled to London earlier this year to meet with BBC bosses, said she was extremely disappointed that BBC chiefs had not listened to the views and concerns expressed by the people of the North West,

Mayor Duffy said it was hugely disappointing that the Morning Programme has not been reinstated in full, and that the local lunchtime programme is to be discontinued, and called on the BBC to urgently provide clarification on the future of the jobs deemed at risk.

She said that it was good news that the hourly news bulletins will continue but said the additional cuts to reduce some of the programming schedule at the station, including the popular Stephen McCauley Show,  was very worrying. Mayor Duffy said she was also concerned that the Mark Patterson show is to be rescheduled to an earlier time slot of 12noon to 1.30 daily, so that it is competing with Talkback.

She said: “It is extremely disappointing that despite all our efforts the BBC have not listened to the people of the North West and the strong case we put forward to retain both the Morning and Lunchtime news programmes. While we welcome the fact that there is some level of programming in the morning, we don’t believe 30 minutes is sufficient to fairly report the news of the North West region.

“The BBC in their statement have said that the headcount at Radio Foyle will be retained, they have failed to provide further clarification on this and provide steadfast reassurances that all jobs are safe.”

The Mayor paid tribute to the staff at the station, trade unions and the wider public who have all supported the campaign to date. She said the campaign had been successful in bringing to the fore the importance of local and regional radio and the important role it plays in communities like Derry and Strabane.

She concluded: “I would encourage the local community to continue to support the campaign and to do all we can to get the BBC to review this latest round of cuts and ensure the North West continues to have a voice on the airwaves.”