Minster FM future in doubt

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It looks like Minster FM – York’s local commercial radio station – may be replaced by a national feed from something called “Greatest Hits Radio”.

Leaving aside whether the nation might now have a surfeit of popular music channels, such a move would be bad news for the City if it were to lose such an important source of independent local news.

The Minster FM team, more than any other local broadcast, newspaper or digital channels, has been supportive of community groups. That support and publicity would be badly missed.

The coronavirus scare has been problematic for all media businesses which are reliant on advertising income. We suspect that there may be more bad news in the pipeline.

Even the non advertising dependent BBC is not without its problems. The Cummings plan to change the way that license fee income is generated is the most obvious.

If the “Greatest Hits Radio” plan is just to pad out the 24/7 coverage with some periods of nationally sourced music, then so be it.

But the local news, and the stations business/community support work, needs to be sustained in some way.

If it isn’t, then there will be pressure to provide a replacement service using a digital channel.