By cutting costs, of course: Heart and Galaxy are going to "network" much of their programming. James P emails with this:
The Global chief executive has an interesting reason for this disposal of local shows; "People assume networking is about big name DJs. It's not, it's about quality presenters. If you take 50 different radio stations there cannot possibly be 50 good presenters at every station in a particular slot. Why not take the two or three quality class players and put them across the network".
The sad part is that he doesn't seem to question why there aren't '50 good presenters at every station in a particular slot', or wonder if it's maybe because the increase in networking across commercial stations means a reduction in the hours for those slots where 'good presenters' got their first break. In the past, off-peak slots could be used to try out new talent. Now they're filled across the country with the same presenter who's, you know, adequate.
Still, when the 'quality class players' decide to take that better job at the BBC or a bingo channel and Global realise there are no experienced presenters to take their place, I suppose there's always ex-Big Brother contestants...
It also misses the things that local radio do really strongly - or did, to be honest, before cost-cutting set in - which is to be local. It's like saying "what's the point of gossiping with people in your street, who might not be very good at it? We'll have one, giant gossip, covering your entire region - you won't actually hear any gossip about people you know, but it will be delivered in an expert fashion.