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BBC won't merge local stations and Radio 5 Live

BBC director general Mark Thompson has ruled out merging local radio with BBC Radio 5 Live. He's also shelved plans to drop the BBC Parliament channel from Freeview.

BBC director general Mark Thompson has ruled out merging local radio with BBC Radio 5 Live. He's also shelved plans to drop the BBC Parliament channel from Freeview.

Both moves were under discussion as part of the Corporation's plans to find cost savings of 20 per cent.

In an email to BBC staff, Thompson said he would not be closing any local radio stations or merging regional TV news operations in England, but declined to rule out service closures entirely.

"We haven't ruled out service closures yet but the work so far suggests there's a smarter way of making savings without taking entire services away from the public ... because every single service is strongly valued by its audience," he added.

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.