Monday, 22 October 2007

BBC saves money by axing plans for Somerset

THE BBC has dropped plans to give Somerset its own dedicated full new radio station.
The cost-cutting measure follows a review of spending plans because of a lower than expected licence fee settlement..
However, the BBC is to start broadcasting its existing Somerset Sound station on its own FM frequency, 95.5 FM, from December.
In addition to improved sound quality on FM, BBC Somerset is also set to benefit from new broadband video investments over the next few years, subject to necessary approvals.
It would mean Somerset licence fee payers being given access to an increasing range of audio, video, and text information about what was happening in their area.
BBC Somerset editor Simon Clifford said: “For years now our listeners have been asking why we do not broadcast on FM.
“So this is great news and puts us on an equal footing with other BBC local radio stations by having our own FM frequency on 95.5.
“With the new frequency and our BBC Somerset mobile studio, which allows us to broadcast from virtually anywhere in the county, I am really excited about the way the station is developing.”
The FM presence will be made possible by changing BBC Radio Bristol’s FM frequency to an enhanced 94.9 FM service.
In turn, Somerset will have 95.5 FM as its main frequency and the station’s output will reach more of the county with a higher quality signal for its existing dedicated local programming
BBC Somerset will continue to be broadcast on 1566 AM and online at
The Somerset programming currently splits from BBC Bristol at breakfast, mid-morning and for the drive programmes on weekdays, breakfast on Saturdays, and ‘Pick of the Week’ on Sundays.
More details are available by visiting, or the BBC Reception Advice website at or by telephoning BBC Information on 08700 100 123.

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