A Brighton-based project is seeking to be the first of the new wave of UK city-based TV stations outlined by culture secretary Jeremy Hunt.
The first weekly ten-minute broadcast of Brighton Lights went online last week, produced by Bill Smith who publishes what’s on and property magazine for the city Latest 7.
Smith hopes that the slickly-produced magazine-style show, Brighton Lights, will quickly expand to a half hour slot and then go daily after that. The first programme includes interviews with newly-elected Brighton MP Simon Kirby and with Rosie Hughes of successful Brighton record label Tru Thoughts.
Its launch follows culture secretary Jeremy Hunt outlining a plan for deregulation of the media to help a new network of city-based TV stations to replace subsidised regional broadcasting on ITV.
Smith, who has written to Hunt informing of his intention to launch a local TV station for Brighton, is convinced that the Conservative local broadcasting plan will work.
He said: ‘City-based stations are absolutely the way to go. Obviously people in Brighton want Brighton TV, people in Bristol want to have Bristol TV and so on.
‘I applaud Jeremy Hunt for moving in such a brave way and I think we can make it fantastically successful.”
Smith, who has a background in broadcasting, conducted the interviews for the programme himself and says he has spent £5,000 on building an editing suite.
When asked whether he would consider working with Brighton-based daily newspaper the Argus on a collaborative local TV scheme, he said: ‘I’ve got no problem with that. There can’t be three TV stations in Brighton, there has to be just one, so I see no reason why we can’t come together.”