Cuts to local radio introduced this week

PROTEST: BBC Radio Kent staff on strike in July this year

Schedule changes to local BBC radio station have been made this week amid contentious plans to implement cuts to local radio services. 

On Monday November 6, BBC Radio Kent, which is broadcast from The Great Hall in Tunbridge Wells, saw a joint schedule introduced following the planned content cuts. 

Some shows across BBC Radio Kent, Sussex and Surrey are now sharing content. For example, between 2pm and 6pm, just a single afternoon show with host Adam Dowling is being broadcast across the three counties. 

BBC Radio Kent presenter Pat Marsh, who had regular afternoon shows all week, will now host only on Sunday mornings.

Producer and Head of Music for BBC Radio Kent, Laura Earl, who produced Mr Marsh’s show said on X, formerly Twitter: “Well they say nothing lasts forever – but I honestly thought we had a few good years in us yet – sadly that’s not to be and today is my last day producing the legend Pat Marsh on BBC Radio Kent. Gonna miss him like mad but god we have had a blast.”

The shake-up follows the news that BBC Radio Kent has lost 89,000 listeners since 2021 – the largest number of drop-offs in listeners of any local BBC radio station. On average, 2023 has seen 130,000 people tune in weekly to the Kent station according to figures from the Radio Joint Audience Research.

Earlier this year members of the National Union of Journalists staged three strikes in rejection of the BBC plans to cut jobs and local radio content. 

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