How we use Cookies

'Great regret' for City TV chief over station's failure

Debra Davies says company must look ahead as administrators battle to find solution to local TV licence farce

Debra Davis

The chief executive of the company behind a bid to launch a local TV station for Birmingham has expressed her "great regret" that the venture was unable to get off the ground.

Debra Davis, the former director of communications at Birmingham City Council, said the failure of Birmingham Local TV Ltd (BLTV) was down to a number of factors including being unable to come to an agreement with creditors.

BLTV, which also trades as City TV, won the licence to operate a local TV station for the Birmingham area in 2012 and it was due to be launched on Freeview as City 8.

But administrators from Duff & Phelps in Birmingham were appointed late last week, citing a lack of funding as the key reason behind the collapse ahead of a November 6 deadline to start broadcasting.

Ms Davies said in a statement: "It is with great regret that BLTV, City8, has gone into administration.

"There were plans being negotiated to rescue the company but creditors rejected early conversations in favour of proceeding with their application. There are a number of factors which led to this but we need to look ahead.

"I am confident that administrators will work towards a solution and I have offered them my support as the company director.

"Jeremy Hunt, former Secretary of State for Department of Culture, Media and Sport, had an ambition to bring truly local television to the UK.

"This is so important to towns and cities across the country, especially outside the M25.

"I am saddened that we couldn't help deliver that vision but it is one that I believe would make a game-changing difference to a lot of communities and local interests."

Broadcasting veteran Esther Rantzen has been linked with a possible bid to pick up the licence should Ofcom start a fresh tendering process.

Ms Rantzen has been named as part of the That's Media group which has already been awarded six licences in the south.

Last month, the Post reported that Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe had tabled a series of Parliamentary questions over the debacle.

This week on the free Birmingham Post iPad and iPhone app: Three weeks of outdoor festivals in Birmingham; Midlands artists at Edinburgh Fringe; Interview with Joan Armatrading; Great British Bake Off and Post Property as well as daily breaking news. Download it here.

 

Journalists

Graeme Brown
Regional Head of Business
Enda Mullen
Business Reporter
Cillian O’ Brien
Business Reporter
Jon Griffin
Business Reporter
Alison Jones
Features writer
Ben Hurst
News Editor
Jonathan Walker
Political Editor