24-hour live local news is promised by Original 106fm

A new regional station for the south of England is to run live local news bulletins 24 hours a day.

Instead of using one of the standard news feeds delivered by satellite during off-peak hours, the Original 106fm newsroom will be staffed around the clock, and the station will encourage members of the public to send in stories via phone, text or email at any time of day or night.

The station's programme director, John Evington, told Press Gazette: "The research carried out in the run-up to the licence application showed that there was a lot of interest in having more news bulletins.

"From an audience generating point of view it is an obvious point of difference over the other stations in the market."

The station has appointed Alan Jennings as news editor to oversee the running of the newsroom, which will feature a full team of seven journalists and will also use freelances.

Jennings was previously news editor at Orchard FM, and his experience in journalism includes a 12-year stint with British Forces Radio and Television and as a broadcaster in various locations around the world.

Original 106 is 95 per cent owned by Canadian media company CanWest MediaWorks, and Seven Broadcast holds the remaining 5 per cent.

When it launches on 1 October, Original 106fm will broadcast across the Solent region from transmitters in Bournemouth, Winchester and on the Isle of Wight.

It fought off competition for the Solent licence, which will cover an estimated area of 1.25 million adults over the age of 15, from 13 other bidders, including Guardian Media Group (GMG) Radio, Virgin Radio and Emap.

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