West Midlands MPs urge rethink on cuts to BBC local radio
By Rebecca Woods
BBC News, West Midlands
MPs said they were "dismayed" by cuts to BBC local radio as they urged director general Tim Davie to rethink the controversial plans.
A letter signed by 13 cross-party MPs in the West Midlands said the service was the "jewel in the crown" of the broadcaster and was vital in mitigating isolation among listeners.
They were "deeply concerned" there had been no public consultation.
Local radio, TV and online staff are on the second day of a 48-hour strike.
The dispute centres on the BBC's plans for its 39 local radio stations to share more programmes.
Some concessions were made in talks brokered by the conciliation service Acas but they did not go far enough, according to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).
In the West Midlands, the changes would see programming on BBC Radio WM shared with CWR from 14:00 BST and then shared output among all Midlands stations in the evenings. More shared shows would take place at weekends.