MEDIA CHOICE: NEWCASTLE LIVE

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 Darts’.

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

Darts’.



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

national media.



’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

’commercial’.



I bet the people at Live TV have exactly the same viewpoint. They know

their national marketplace and they’ll have researched the local

market.



Consequently, they will be aware both of their potential and of their

limitations.



Newcastle is known the world over as a city which rocks noon and

night.



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

advertisers.



Launched: September 25

Owner: Mirror Group

Subscription package: pounds 12.99 per month (including 12 channels)

Total viewers: 84,000 Newcastle Live (BARB)



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