Beveridge questions wisdom of new local TV channels for Edinburgh and Glasgow

THE wisdom behind the awarding of licences for new, local TV channels – one for Edinburgh and another for Glasgow – has been questioned by a leading Scots media academic.

In today’s Scotsman newspaper, Robert Beveridge, reflects on the award of the licences to STV in association with, respectively, Edinburgh Napier University and Glasgow Caledonian University.

The award was announced last week.

While wishing the consortia well, Beveridge asks several questions about the decision, not least because the funding for local TV initiatives throughout the UK is coming out of the TV licence fee, which the BBC had once reason to assume was exclusively for its use.

That the licence fee was ‘top-sliced’ in the first place – following an agreement with the Westmister Government – Beveridge describes as a potentially “very slippery slope”.

He wonders too, what will be different about the content on the local TV channels, given that STV already has several platforms to produce content for.

Update on story (Wednesday, January 16 2013). Read here, STV’s response, including in a letter to The Scotsman, published the following day.