Local TV plans set to 'flop', Ben Bradshaw predicts
Exeter MP and former Labour culture secretary Ben Bradshaw has predicted that the Government's local TV scheme will "flop".
He described the scheme as Jeremy Hunt's "pet project", which went ahead despite reservations from the industry and politicians.
Ofcom has now completed the first phase of licensing for the scheme, awarding 19 local TV licences which are expected to reach almost 12 million households.
Last week YourTV Blackpool & Preston completed the initial phase, which attracted no interest when pitched to Plymouth.
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Mr Bradshaw, a former journalist at the Exeter Express and Echo and later the BBC, said the last Labour government had dismissed the idea as a "non-starter", preferring to maintain the quality of regional news on ITV.
"This was an obsession of Jeremy Hunt's at the time," he told Press Gazette.
"Even his independent review came back and said it was a waste of money – it will never work.
"I'm afraid, like so much of what this Government is doing, it's not evidence-based, it's not properly thought through, and I suspect it will flop as we predicted."