Fury from city leaders and listeners as Minster FM is axed

Photograph: Minster FM on Instagram
27 May 2020 @ 6.23 pm
| Business

Many in the city have reacted with shock to the news that Minster FM will soon be no more.

We broke the news this lunchtime that owner Bauer Media were to close Minster FM and in its place broadcast the Greatest Hits network.

Many Dunnington-based staff have been put on redundancy notice. There will still be some local news, says Bauer – but they could only guarantee one regional show – a Yorkshire-Lincolnshire drive time show.

Here’s what people have been saying.

Keith Aspden

City of York Council leader Keith Aspden said: “The news regarding Minster FM is incredibly disappointing, not only for their staff, but for the many residents who rely on Minster FM for the latest local news.

“It is frustrating that despite concerns from local community radio stations across the UK, there has been no intervention or package of support from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, particularly given local media’s importance during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Minster FM has been a pillar of our community for many years now and they will be sorely missed.

“I would urge Bauer Media to consider the impact of this decision on York residents during this difficult time.”

Rachael Maskell

York Central MP Rachael Maskell said: “Local radio plays a vital role in keeping the community informed of what is happening and holding people to account. 

“Minster FM has played a vital role in this, and I have witnessed how hard its staff have worked to ensure that York residents receive the most up to date new, information and stories.

“It is vital that local media outlets are protected, whether print, broadcast or on-line, however the over commercialisation of the sector mixed with a financially challenging environment is meaning that important media outlets are at risk.

“We must do all we can to ensure that local and community media survive this current economic shock as well as is protected from wider commercial interests.”

Andrew Lowson

Executive director of the York BID Andrew Lowson said: “This is terrible news.  

“Minster FM and their York-based staff have always supported the business community through promotion of the city and local initiatives. 

“Their knowledge and enthusiasm for York is a huge loss, especially as we make plans for a citywide recovery.”

Danny Myers

Cllr Danny Myers, the council’s Labour Group leader said: “Replacing Minster FM with a hits radio station is a kick in the teeth for our trusted local and regional news providers.

“Minster FM have been successful in growing their audience and providing choice for residents in both their radio broadcasting and online news.

“Local and regional media give a voice to their communities and are an important channel for local people to hold those in power to account. I am writing to Bauer Media to ask them to reverse this decision.”

Listeners react

The news has left Minster FM’s large and loyal audience reeling.

And a ‘Save Minster FM’ petition has been launched online.

It comes from listener Amy Rudge who said: “Minster FM plays an absolutely vital part in our community and promotes the city and charitable causes.

“To lose it now would be unthinkable. Let’s keep the station on air and the presenters and studio staff in employment.”

Here are some thoughts on Twitter. There are many more comments on our Facebook post too.