It arrived with quite a reputation. Although many of us had never
seen Live TV before, we’d all heard about ’The News Bunny’ and ’Topless
Well it’s now on-air with Newcastle Live. The first 30 minutes of every
hour between noon and 7pm weekdays is devoted to local news, sport,
entertainment and the weather - which, according to the advance
publicity, is ’what people are really into up here’.
And it’s absolutely right. However, the trick is in getting the content
and the balance spot on. Metro FM has been ’hitting the spot’ for over
two decades - but it’s not easy, there is no magic formula.
I don’t feel threatened by Newcastle Live. I wish it well. The North
East media scene has been getting more competitive for years with the
arrival of free sheets, cable TV, national and regional commercial
radio, free ads papers and now a purely local cable station.
’Local’ can sometimes be a difficult proposition for national
advertisers and agencies. When major brands embark on a national
strategy, it’s because they have national distribution and they use
’Local’ on the other hand implies something small and parochial. But
there’s nothing wrong with being local. Local people spend local money
in local shops. In independent radio terms, for ’local’ read
I bet the people at Live TV have exactly the same viewpoint. They know
their national marketplace and they’ll have researched the local
Consequently, they will be aware both of their potential and of their
Newcastle is known the world over as a city which rocks noon and
We love to be entertained. Live TV can tap into this culture with its
own style of entertainment.
You may not like what it does; I noticed only yesterday it presented
’the bounciest weather in TV’ - a vertically challenged person on a
trampoline reading a weather forecast.
Completely outrageous, even in Newcastle, but they’ll get an audience
for it (although how big, I couldn’t say).
Of course it now must convince advertisers that Live TV, and in
particular, Newcastle Live, are environments which will get results for
their advertising pound. It doesn’t matter who you are - Metro FM or
Live TV - sooner rather than later you’ve got to get results for
Launched: September 25
Owner: Mirror Group
Subscription package: pounds 12.99 per month (including 12 channels)
Total viewers: 84,000 Newcastle Live (BARB)