PLANS to axe the BBC South Today Oxford Bulletin are going ahead following new announcements to also make ‘extensive’ cuts to local radio.

The regional TV news programme will now merge with the Southampton regional programme before Christmas as announced in July this year.

It is currently presented by Geraldine Peers and Jerome Sale and has been going since 2000.

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BBC Nations director Rhodri Talfan Davies said it was a ‘difficult decision’ but he wanted to ‘strengthen’ local online news services.

The news the plans are going ahead comes as the broadcasters announce new plans to change local radio scheduling.

All 39 networks in England will keep their current schedule from 6am to 2pm, but after that shows will be shared.

There will be 10 local programmes between 6-10pm on weekdays, across the day on Saturday, as well as on Sunday mornings.

There will be one "all-England" show from 10pm across the week, and on Sunday afternoons.

These changes will result in the closure of about 48 staff posts, with the BBC explaining it wants to prioritise digital content.

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BBC announced the plans saying it needs to save £285 million in response to the announcement in January that the licence fee will be frozen for the next two years.

Mr Talfan Davies said: “These are ambitious and far-reaching proposals to grow the value we deliver to local audiences everywhere.

"The plans will help us connect with more people in more communities right across England - striking a better balance between our broadcast and online services - and ensuring we remain a cornerstone of local life for generations to come."

People across the county have taken to social media to share their thoughts on the closure of the TV news programme and the changes proposed to local radio.

One resident said: “So our BBC local TV service is to be scrapped and instead we get coverage from Southampton, a faraway place of which I know little.

“Can I please pay a higher licence fee and avoid these cuts?”

Another added: “Huge love and appreciation to all BBC local radio staff facing redundancy despite doing a brilliant job for their communities.

“Same to BBC TV news teams in Cambridge and Oxford whose programmes are closing in December. You have provided a vital local service.”

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Commenting on BBC Radio Oxford’s post about the changes, Oxfordshire County Councillor Sally Povolostky said: “It’s a tragic shame, and we all love BBC Radio Oxford it’s a vital county lifeline for news.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing:

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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