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Black Current reports that London Live’s executive director Stefano Hatfield has resigned just three weeks after the channel launched. 

Hatfield has left to work on a new start-up outside the Lebedev-owned media empire. 

It was reported several days ago that the channel’s viewing figures have been extremely poor since it’s launch. Morning show ‘Wake Up London’ received on average 2400 viewers, and on eight separate occasions the show has recorded no viewers at all.

In an interview with the Press Gazette London Live chief executive Andrew Mullins said low Barb viewing figures do not reflect the fact that many are watching the channel in on-demand form via devices other than televisions.

He added:

Does everyone want to do miles better? Of course they always do.

We’ve said we want a 0.7 per cent share [of London viewers] by the end of year one, and of the channels we’re monitoring at the same stage of their launches, we’re doing no worse, no better, than they did in terms of audience growth.”

“I’m amazed people haven’t been slightly more… understanding of the challenge that you face. Instead of going: ‘I’m a 50-year-old BBC One viewer and it doesn’t look like BBC One to me.’”

“If you’re going to do what Ofcom wants us to do, which is to provide a channel for London using a new original content from London and a breadth of different types of programming, it will reflect the type of programming that doesn’t sit comfortably with people who spend their whole life watching BBC and are well-off, middle-aged, living in Surrey, coming in by train [to London] every day.”

In response to Hatfield’s resignation Mullins said that he had always planned to leave London Live at this time, though he was initially expected to move on within the company.

Due to poor figures and Hatfield’s departure the BBC Trust has now frozen funding. 

I cannot believe the BBC Trust has just frozen funding after only three weeks.

As for Stefano Hatfield – Stefano you thought ‘this ship is sinking’ after only three weeks and jumped. 

I have tuned in to London Live and think it is still VERY early days. The channel should be given the opportunity to find the correct formula and the chance to grow.

Categories: UK News

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April 2014
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