Greg Dyke, Chancellor of the University of York, has suggested that York would be the ideal city in which to set up a local television channel.
Dyke gave a speech last week in response to the recommendations of Nicholas Shott, the merchant banker who was last year commissioned to write a report on the feasibility of establishing local television channels in UK cities. Shott predicted that while there was potential for local television in the UK, it was only viable in around ten or 12 of the largest cities.
Introduced by Vice- Chancellor Brian Cantor, Dyke gave a speech last week in the Theatre, Film and Television Department on the possibilities for local television in York, addressing an audience of media, business and government leaders, as well as a handful of interested students, about his proposal.
However, Dyke argued that Shott was far too cautious in his assessment, and stated that a city such as York was the perfect base for a local television channel.
He continued that the transmitter networks in both Leeds and Newcastle currently share the responsibility of providing York with regional news, yet the population of York, including the hinterlands, amounts to approximately 400,000 people. Dyke believes people in smaller cities tend to have a greater interest in local news and proving the viability of his proposal.
Dyke’s speech made it clear that he feels Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, was an advocate for the proposal. The editor-in-chief of the York Press also voiced his support.
Dyke called for immediate action: “The Secretary of State [Hunt] should be prepared to bite the bullet and press ahead with these proposals,” a proposal which would see the establishment of 80 channels in the next two years.