Local radio could become a victim of the BBC’s drive to save £400m and trade unions are warning it could cost 700 jobs.
The Beeb has mooted proposals to replace much of its local radio output during the day with content from Radio 5 Live, retaining only breakfast and drivetime shows.
Jeremy Dear, the NUJ’s general secretary, said: “Local radio plays a crucial role in keeping local communities informed. These proposals would rip the heart out of local programming and effectively sound the death knell for local radio.
“The BBC’s plans would be a blow to quality journalism at the BBC and fly in the face of public commitments to localism and transparency. Local radio programmes are produced by local people for local audiences yet these decisions are being taken far away from communities and behind closed doors.
“The BBC must step back from the brink and protect local radio services. If they do not we will actively resist plans which threaten to inflict such devastating damage to local radio services.”
The corporation has around 40 local radio stations with an average weekly audience of 7.4 million listeners, according to MediaGuardian.