Local radio breakfast shows off the menu

About 95 local radio presenters could lose their jobs as a result of plans by Global to launch UK-wide national breakfast shows on Capital, Heart and Smooth radio.

Staff teams affected include regional commercial, regional programming staff & presenters, regional news, regional engineering and regional marketing.

The re-organisation means that the highly-popular breakfast show hosted on Heart West Midlands by broadcaster-journalist Ed James (pictured) is to be dropped after being on the airwaves since 2002.

Last year, Ed, a former Birmingham Press Club chairman, co-founded a creative agency, HDY, which is based at the Custard Factory in Birmingham.

Following the changes, Global say they will be creating the three largest commercial radio breakfast shows in the UK, with 4.8m, 3.7m and 2.7 million listeners respectively each week.The changes mean, however, a reduction in locally-produced programmes.

The first network breakfast show will be launched by Capital in April with Heart and Smooth following later in the year. Heart will have a single breakfast show across England, Scotland and Wales instead of the current line-up of 22 breakfast shows. It will also have ten drivetime shows instead of the current 23 separate drivetime shows.

 Smooth will create a new national breakfast show replacing breakfast programmes in East Midlands, West Midlands, North West, Lake District, North East, Scotland and Wales

Global says local news and travel information "will continue to air on a local licence level as per legislation requirements". But it also said its news teams would see "refreshed structures" along with engineering and marketing.

The companies have been given the go-ahead by broadcasting regulator Ofcom, which relaxed its rules on how and where stations make their programmes last October. Ofcom removed the requirement for locally made weekend programmes and redefined regions to align with ITV regions.

 Informing staff of the news, Ashley Tabor, Global's founder, said it "would mean change". But he also said "the ability to lead the commercial radio sector's next huge step, and to properly compete with BBC Radio 1 and 2 at breakfast time" was "a huge opportunity".