City TV Crashes

City TvBy Richard Lutz

The Birmingham-based City TV franchise has gone into financial administration without broadcasting a programme.

It was given government backed Ofcom approval in November 2012 to provide local television for the city and nearby Black Country. But it has now appointed administrators to find a buyer for the broadcasting franchise. It has gone bust.

Despite having close to two years to get the operation up and running, it is understood CityTV never found a studio, hired staff nor, crucially, found the vital funding needed to get a franchise off the ground.

But whatever the problems, management had still promised much to the public over the years.

Here is what we were told by bosses:

November 2011: Birmingham will be a “…super-hub for local tv…”

February 2012: City TV will be “online and on air” in 2013

November 2012: Station launch in April 2014

February 2014: Station launch “likely” in September 2014

July 2014: Launch by November 2014 (which is the official Ofcom deadline).

Aug 2014: In administration

City TV is run by former Birmingham Council PR chief Debra Davis. It had until mid-November of this year to begin on-air programming.

Unattributed reports suggest that tv personality Esther Rantzen may pitch her hat into the ring with her links to other hyper-local tv efforts.