YourTV to create 50 jobs in Manchester

YOURTV, the company that has won a 12-year licence to produce local TV in Manchester, plans to create around 50 jobs.

The company’s Manchester franchise was awarded the licence by the regulator Ofcom on Friday. It will be the first local service in the city since the demise of Channel M in 2010.

The successful Manchester bid was chaired by former PwC senior partner David McKeith and also features former BBC broadcaster Felicity Goodey on its board.

Mr McKeith told the station’s managing director Bryan Burgess was now scouting for premises. They hope to have the station up and running by the autumn.

He said: “There’s a great opportunity here to create a very new type of local TV proposition in the country’s second city. We’ve got to build a team of around 50 people and create the programmes.

“We hope to start broadcasting in October or November but will start getting more content up on the website.”

Local TV was the brainchild of former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt who identified 21 towns and cities to pioneer the service which will be broadcast on Freeview channel 8. Each station will receive £150,000 from the BBC in its first year in return for content.

YourTV plans to broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is promising a mix of news, culture, entertainment, sport and some user generated material.

It was founded by former TV producer Jim Manson and Lin Glover, a former regulator with Ofcom’s predecessor the Independent Broadcasting Association. It is chaired by Sir Michael Lyons, a former chairman of the BBC Trust.

Mr Manson told last year that the group had attracted funding from unnamed private and institutional investors. It put in for eight of the TV licences and Manchester is the first it has won.

Rivals for the licence were Canadian broadcaster Channel Zero, which bid under the Metro8 name, Made in Manchester – although this is not the radio producer with the same name led by Ashley Byrne, Salford Quays-based Lets Go Global and the Manchester News Channel.

YourTV also has bids for Liverpool and Preston where the winners have not yet been announced. The Liverpool bid is led by founder of the business network Downtown Frank McKenna, and Lynne Wood, a former managing director of Radio City. In Preston the station director will be former Lancashire Evening Post editor Simon Reynolds.