Liverpool news agency boss wins local TV licence

Liverpool-based news agency boss Chris Johnson has been successful in his bid to win the local TV licence for Liverpool.

Johnson is chief executive of Bay TV and his agency Mercury Press will be the ‘media partner’ for the new channel.
Bay TV has seen off competition from Phil Redmond’s Our TV and network bidders Made In TV, Your TV and Metro8 to win the Liverpool licence.
Bay TV aims to be broadcasting on Freeview Channel 8 to a potential audience of 2.3m by the end of this year – providing that the broadcasting infrastructure being provided by the Government is in place.
Bay TV already has two full-time staff providing video reports for its website and it plans to have 19 staff in total producing programmes covering news, politics, current affairs and entertainment.
So far 17 out of 21 TV licences which are up for grabs in the first wave of the local TV roll-out have been awarded.
In Bristol the new agency South West News is working with Made In TV as its Media Partner.
Liverpool’s major established media provider Trinity Mirror, publisher of the Echo, is not involved in the Bay TV bid. But Johnson said he is hopeful that a way can be found to work constructively with Liverpool’s daily newspaper.
The plan is for Bay TV to begin broadcasting 10 hours a day before building up to 24 hours.
Johnson said: “We’ve recognised that agenices need to change and diversify if they are going to grow and succeed in a shrinking national newspaper market where margins are forever being squeezed and that’s one of the reasons why I set up Bay TV online and bid for the local digital terrestrial licence.
“There will be opportunities for Mercury Press to provide video content for national newspapers in the future and perhaps for the Echo as well.”
Bay TV chairman Jack Stopforth said: "I'm thrilled for the team.  We were always quietly confident that Bay TV's mixture of solid journalism and access to the business community would stand us in good stead.  
"The hard work is just beginning and we can't wait to get started.  Our vision for local TV is to capitalise on Liverpool's resurgent business and arts scene and make it accessible to our local audience.  
"This city has always been a fantastic source of news and Scousers have a huge appetite for supporting and promoting their city. We have too channel that and capitalise on it." 

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