UK local TV operation London Live will stop making and buying entertainment series, and instead focus on news and current affairs programming.
Programming execs such as head of programming and commissioning Jonathan Boseley (pictured) and commissioning executive Derren Lawford – formerly BBC Worldwide’s head of programming and scheduling for the Global iPlayer – will be affected by the decision.
They will be “reapportioned” to the London Live’s news and current affairs team, which is planning to create new positions in coming months.
London Live, which is part of Conservative government politician Jeremy Hunt’s local TV initiative, said a decision to boost news programming would have a “knock-on reduction” to original entertainment commissions and acquired programmes. This would align it closer with sister newspaper the London Evening Standard, it added.
This comes after ESTV, which provides London Live programming, called for media regulator Ofcom to reduce to number of local content the channel must air during peak hours.
London Live’s original commissions include Food Junkies, F2 and Drag Queens of London, though the channel has struggled with small viewing figures since launch in March.
“I am extraordinarily proud of what Jonathan Boseley and his team have achieved, in record time, and delivered on previously unheard-of tariffs, but I am also excited to take the station in a new editorial direction this autumn that will capitalise on ESI Media’s unique attributes to take the channel from strength to strength into its next season and beyond,” said London Live COO Tim Kirkman.
The news is latest blow to Britain’s local TV initiative, coming just eight days after Birmingham’s City TV became the first to collapse and call in administrators.