The writing was on the wall for Channel M when Trinity Mirror bought GMG Regional Media from Guardian Media Group but left the Manchester metropolitan TV operator out of the deal.
Now the inevitable has happened and, after reviewing its options, GMG is effectively shutting the outfit. It’s cutting 29 of 33 staff and the channel will stop producing any new material.
After the GMG Regional Media sale – and, with it, MEN Media – Mancs might now feel doubly aggrieved by a GMG that, while exiting its Manchester heartland, is, via Guardian News & Media, opening three or more local news websites elsewhere and pursuing an international profile for .
GMG says it will hang on to the Channel M brand and the Freeview multiplex on which it operates – this sounds like a short-term measure and the space may yet prove to have a degree of value, as the future of nations-and-regions news shakes out over the coming months through the government’s independently-funded news consortia proposal or alternative ideas…
Instead of the government’s idea, Conservatives appear to favour metropolitan, city-based TV-and-multimedia news enterprises. That could mean an opportunity for GMG’s Channel M empty shell in Manchester, but doesn’t seem to serve the pilot regions of Scotland, Wales and Borders/Tyne Tees (nor other UK nations and regions) well at all.
But the loss of Channel M – one of the UK’s only metropolitan TV networks – rather suggests that city-TV is uneconomical anyway. A similar portion of spectrum was last year auctioned in Cardiff but, for now, remains unused.
GMG’s full announcement follows…
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