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GMG says it has been waiting two years for the outcome of the government's future plans for local TV

Credit: jsawkins on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Guardian Media Group has announced the immediate closure of its TV station for Greater Manchester, Channel M, because of ongoing uncertainty about the future of local television in the UK.

The group said in a statement that it did not feel that there was enough of a "framework needed to grow Channel M into a profitable business", following discussions with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as part of its consultation into local TV.

The channel, which launched in 2000, was scaled back significantly in 2010, with the loss of most of its jobs, and was moved to GMG Radio's north-west stations in Salford Quays later that year, following the sale of GMG's Manchester newspapers to Trinity Mirror.

GMG Radio chief executive Stuart Taylor said in a statement: "We've been in a holding pattern with Channel M for two years awaiting the outcome of the government's future plans for local TV.

"Sadly, we don't feel they provide us with the framework needed to grow Channel M into a profitable business that delivers the quality service viewers and advertisers expect from GMG."

The Channel M closure, which will result in the loss of three jobs, comes as culture secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce the licensing of a new batch of local television stations in up to 20 areas this summer.

Ofcom has named 20 cities where local TV is "technically possible" and where there is "strong local demand" - one of which is Manchester.

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