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New Standard For London Television

Blog | Broadcasting

Charlie | Thursday 14th, 2013, 12:00am GMT

The London Evening Standard has won the bid for London‚Äôs first local digital TV contract. Out of the five media consortia entered into the bid, Ofcom said that the winning bid had demonstrated “the greatest understanding of London’s diverse communities”, and that “proposals covered a significant range of subjects and would therefore meet the needs of local communities to the greatest extent”. The new channel will be called London Live which Andrew Mullins, Managing Director of The Evening Standard, explains is: “Because we believe breaking news, relevance and topicality are critical and we want and will encourage all Londoners from across the capital to engage and participate in our news and current affairs programming.” In an interview with Journalism.co.uk, Mullins goes further on this point to explain that: ‚ÄúThere will be additional content created at very local level. User-generated content, I know it’s a buzzword, but we’ve been talking to people about how we can engage Londoners more readily with video content.‚Äù Engaging audiences this way from launch is a smart, forward-facing move as, in our experience, broadcasters who are actively adapting to the new broadcasting paradigm are implementing new strategies for engagement that embrace the new information sharing culture that social media has ushered in. Naturally, there‚Äôs an inherent challenge represented by the transition from producing, essentially static, news content for print and web to building a living, breathing television channel. Not only are the skill sets substantially different, but so are the audiences expectations from one medium to the other. From a branding perspective this poses a number of challenges in terms of how the organisation restructures itself internally to accommodate this new addition to their daily operations as well as how they communicate what the new brand stands for both internally and externally. We‚Äôre sure that Andrew and his team are currently inundated with offers of help right now and that they will be carefully scrutinizing what‚Äôs on offer to find an agency with proven ability in effective channel positioning. Alongside this they‚Äôll need robust¬†marketing and implementation plans, programming strategy and high quality branding solutions on and off air for the new channel. All of these elements have to add up to a brand that has longevity, will stand out in the market and is cost effective and easy to manage in-house following launch. We‚Äôll be very interested to see who they partner with and how successful they are in delivering not just a business plan, but a new brand brought to life.