CBC studio in London

Londoners will soon be able to listen to a new morning radio show and check out news on a new local website that CBC is launching. (Gary Ennett/CBC)

The CBC announced Monday that it is expanding its footprint in London, Ont., by launching a new morning show in that city and a local news website.

Jennifer McGuire, the general manager and editor in chief of CBC News and Centres, said it was a long-awaited plan that is now coming to fruition.

"We had announced expansion into London before the round of cuts began a few years back and we decided to dust that off and make it happen," McGuire said in a telephone interview with CBC Radio's Afternoon Drive on Monday.

"It is a big city. It is a city that deserves local CBC service."

McGuire said the move has been made possible by new funding from the federal government.

"It wouldn't be happening otherwise," she said.

The launch date is not ready to be announced, but McGuire said the planning for the changes is underway.

McGuire estimates that eight people will be hired as part of the expansion in London.

Londoners welcome announcement

In a statement, London Mayor Matt Brown said he and the rest of the city are waiting to see how it all unfolds.

"Just like so many Londoners, I am excited to learn about the new programming and digital service," Brown said in a statement.

Thomas Carmichael, the dean of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University, said the expansion was "outstanding news for the entire community."

Peter Fragiskatos, a Liberal MP who represents the riding of London North Centre, said he and the people living in the city welcome the expanded presence of CBC.

"We have Londoners in this city who are very passionate about our national broadcaster and this is just — this is wonderful," he told CBC News in a telephone interview.

Irene Mathyssen, a New Democrat MP who represents the riding of London-Fanshawe, said the region had been hoping this would happen for a long time.

"I'm just delighted," she said Monday.

With files from the CBC's Gary Ennett