Community radio station 2ser to restructure after funding freeze

Community radio station 2ser is to restructure to ensure its ‘long-term viability’, the station’s boss has said.

With no increase in funding from its university backers to cover rising operating costs, ‘tough decisions’ are to be made at the current affairs and talk radio station, with all staff positions under review.

Among the proposals would be the redundancy of Mark Robinson, Talks Co-ordinator at the station, one of 11 paid members of staff. Robinson oversees the station’s current affairs output.

According to a volunteer journalist at 2ser, the axing of Robinson’s role would see a decline in the quality of content at the station.

Neighbourhood Watch producer Shant Fabricatorian said: “With no Talks Co-ordinator present in the newsroom, there will be an immediate and noticeable drop in the quality of our talks content. This move will directly result in some programs being unable to go to air, and volunteers are gravely concerned that by the end of the year, 2SER news and current affairs programming will amount to just a hollow shell of what exists today.”

Melanie Withnall, MD of 2ser, responded with the statement:

2ser is not cutting talks programing and committed to providing both talk and music based content.

At times of financial constraint organizations must sometimes restructure to maintain long-term viability. With the universities that fund us also working in financial constraints there has been no increase from them to meet growing operating costs at 2SER. There have been no cuts to our funding, but our income has not kept pace with expenditure we must operate responsibly within financial constraints. We also need to plan and prepare for future challenges. In order to keep the station viable for the future some tough decisions will have to be made.

The current change proposal, recommends changes to all positions at 2ser. A staffing restructure is not taken lightly, however, we are at a point where we need to look at where and how resources are utilised, to be able to keep the station broadcasting into the future.

2ser faces a similar scenario to FBI Radio, which launched the ‘Ask Richard’ project by Naked Communications in March 2010 to salvage the station.

In an interview, Mumbrella editor Tim Burrowes and Naked’s Adam Ferrier discussed the Ask Richard campaign.


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