They should think about ditching that aswell.
The BBC reportedly plans to axe its 6 Music and Asian Network radio stations, cull 50 per cent of its websites and reduce spending on American TV shows next month. According to a story in today’s Times, which cites BBC Trust sources, Beeb director-general Mark Thompson will admit in March that the Corporation is bloated and …
We all know Rupe's has the long knives out for the BBC and its no surprise that it was one of his papers that broke the story, especially so soon after the BBC announced it was bringing the iPlayer etc to the iPhone.
The Asian network gets under 2% of listeners, and only has about 360,000 regular listeners (figures from mediauk). I read recently that someone said they'd be better off burning the stations content to CD and posting it to the listeners- it would be cheaper :)
Although I rarely listen to 6music, I have to say if i was a young Asian person either calling myself non-British, or have been born here but have obvious ties to Asia and my own family history, I would be annoyed that a channel such as the Asian network is to be wound down.
The fact there are not enough listeners is because most will either listen online, stream to mobile phones using realmedia (although that's being dropped in favour of WMA streaming, which most smartphones, ie: Nokias, do not support), with a few people even using digital tv to listen to more niche music stations.
There are plenty of generic White British radio stations, but very few local, and even fewer national Asian radio stations. If numbers are low, it's more likely because either the actual DJs themselves aren't representative of Asian radio desires, or people just are not ready yet to start relying on DAB and digital tv instead of using an mp3 player to allow unpredictable streaming music.
6music can go in my opinion, although it does fill a void that other radio stations do not fill, but the Asian network should stay, purely based on the fact few good Asian stations exist.
6 Music is easily the best music station we've ever had and fits the BBCs remit really well.
It would be a shame if it was abandoned leaving us at the whim of commercial interests.
Of all the organisations that might prefer quality over other concerns you'd have backed BBC radio.
trying something orginal instead of constant celebrity come dance with me factor on ice type programs? or super predicatable crap comedys(my family etc) ?
the beeb is funded diffrently to ITV et all and i dont see why they try to mimic them and engage in petty ratings wars by producing more and more lowest common denominator dross (i.e dance shows, singing shows and all the other vote for me now shows).
wheres the beeb gave us things like not the nine o clock news,young ones, black adder etc these days it has to have a jokes that are completly PC and so predictable you dont even need to watch half of these shows.
fail because £142.50 s alot to watch the F1 and the odd documentry
Don't care about the radio stations being culled... I've never listened to either of the ones cited in the article. Do they really have that big an audience...? I'm sure they could save even more money by ditching the annoying fat DJ who is on Radio 1 in the morning, and some of the other dinosaurs that are still on the payroll.
I'm more disappointed by the Beeb's online offerings being reduced. I've always liked what the BBC do online (not withstanding some of the turgid crap their journalists write - did you see the recent article about Photoshop being 20 years old?).
I don't mind paying my TV licence because I think, for the time being at least, it represents good value for money. Let's hope the quality of the Beeb's output doesn't decrease.
If you cut the cost, productivity goes up. If you cut the output productivity goes down.
No doubt he wants to cull radio stations that cost a lot for their low number of listeners. But I reckon he won't cut the mass of bureaucracy and so isn't really saving the full costs, but IS taking the full drop in output.
If the BBC stopped making EVERY programs, I reckon they'd still need £400 million to exist. They would be an organisation of people meeting other people to discuss management issues.
So I reckon he should make the saving by entirely culling managers, and leave the content alone.
"Mark Thompson will admit in March that the Corporation is bloated and needs to trim down its services to allow commercial rivals to compete."
The reason that the commercial channels are failing to compete is more complex than the license fee. Their output is dire and ad revenues are falling. If they were sort their act out then there would be no reason for this statement.
I am sick of the current spate of reporting that somehow the Beeb is at fault with the business plans of the commercial networks. It's a load of tosh.
Without the beeb we would be left with not much more than BSkyB... shudder.
It all went wrong when they started to do "demographic" channels, I mean "BBC3 the channel for 16-35 year olds" what's that all about ?
Please BBC get back to core values and great programmes.
You don't need all this trendy targetted crap.
Oh God I sound old.
Maybe there's a channel I should be watching ..............
"Beeb director-general Mark Thompson will admit in March that the Corporation is bloated and needs to trim down its services to allow commercial rivals to compete."
Why? The Beeb seem to have a better grasp of what is successful than the commercial competitors who only seem to sling out material for dumb masses. If the BBC are producing successful broadcasts long may they continue.
We pay the license fee for quality programming not to allow dross from commercial concerns into our living room.
Come on Beeb put your back catalogue on line so we can escape the adverts!
6 music is a great station, playing a brilliant selection of music with DJs that know about music.
I understand that the recent poll shows that 80% of the population doesn't even know it exists, but surely that is due to poor marketing and the fact it is only available online and via DAB.
The BBC does make mistakes, does over step the mark with commercial rivals and I think it does need to be closely monitored.
However 6music and the BBC website are examples of how great the BBC can be
for the beeb to save money is simple:
Only send one reporter to cover an event. There's no need to send journos from various parts of the organisation.
Dump the pointless local radio stations. The aural wallpaper they churn out is well duplicated by the commercial sector.
About time too. You can't have a state funded organisation putting its fingers in every pie. The government should encourage creativity, innovation, and the growth of private businesses - not fund an organisation that competes with that.
If the BBC can save £millions cutting websites and little used radio stations then it should invest those savings into making better quality TV programmes.
That's almost worth a "meh".
It's only achievement as far as I can see, is in managing to make: "Next on BBC3, <insert name of BBC3 specific programme>" replace that old stalwart: "There now follows a Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the Liberal Democrats" as the thing said by a continuity announcer most likely to make the viewer change channels.
So, the BBC might well kill 6music - something that absolutely no commercial providers want to provide. Why not kill Radio 1? That's pretty much the same as every commerical local radio station, and listeners are well supplied with alternatives.
BBC haters can't have it both ways. Either the BBC exists to provide programming for minority audiences (such as 6music) and can't be criticised for low audience figures, or it is there to compete for mainstream audiences, against commerical rivals. How can scrapping the minority services match its public service remit?
If budgets must be cut, go for the mainstream. Scrap EastEnders! That's exactly the sort of thing that commerical rivals make, and I bet the cost of a couple of episodes would pay for a whole year of 6music output.
This looks like a British digital Suez to me.
Still... shows you what happens when arrogance leads you to you bury your head in the sand and refuse to acknowledge what everyone around you is saying. If they'd seized the moment when gCap announced they were pulling out of DAB and said they were too, it would have looked like the failure of an industry where everyone gave it a go but it just didn't work out.
By hanging in there so long, it makes the BBC look really bad, like a stuck up geriatric who still refuses to buy a German car because of the war, and then phones you to say their new and overpriced Rover has broken down on the A4.
I'm more concerned about the culling of websites and US imports though. DAB may be a technological cul-de-sac, but those websites and the muscle to buy big imports is part of what makes the BBC a world class broadcaster. Changes like this make them look uncomfortably closer to Dave and Virgin1.
The really expensive exclusive sports events stand a good chance of being televised without the beeb's help - whereas the high quality documentaries, investigative journalism and other slightly-higher-brow-than-ITV programming likely wouldn't.
I just can't understand why they keep paying for Two Pints.
Oh please use some of the savings made to allow Charlie Brooker to make a full series of Gameswipe. Oh and can we have that groovy test card thingy back too, used to well love that beeping tone waking me up at 3am after falling asleep in front of the sky at night.
6 Music is a fantastic station (especially after they canned George Lamb from the day time schedules), and is the only BBC station to actually play new and non-mainstream music. Radio 1 certainly doesn't!
As for the earlier comment about the Asian Network I would presume that
1. Radio 1 plays most of what young asian youths listen too anyway.
2. Asians make up 4% (2001 census) of the UK populace.If a non-UK born asian wants to listen to asian radio stations then chances are they can stream one from their home country,
Is it justified to spend that amount of money of a minority station when we should be encouraging more integration? If 6 Music was on FM I'd be willign to bet it would be a runaway success. Anyway, please don't give me a reason to bin my plan to buy a Pure Sensia!
Radio1 Extra (sorry spelling it Xtra is not not cool it's crap) nobody listens to it and plays the same calculated demographic dross as Radio1
Some BBC local radio stations should be merged (I would prefer terminated but will settle for merged)
BBC3, crap comedys and Family Guy
Asian Network, nobody is listening so it should go, plus I assume you haven't heard the dozens of 'local' Asian stations in any of the major UK towns. From what the Asian Network seem to be trying to do is something a coalition of local stations would be a better model for
RE: AC & the Asian network, can I ask where the non generic 'white' radio stations (as you term them) are. 6Music ithe only place I stand a chance of hearing The Gang of Four in the same week as King Tubby and the 13th floor Elevators.
I'm afraid I fall into the category demographic of not having reached senility, not wanting to listen to golden oldies, dad rock or the pre-chewed pap which is sold to kids these days.
6Music is the only place I can indulge my love of Dub, decent funk, krautrock, psych or garage bands
Scrap Radio 3 - there's a viable commercial alternative broadcasting on FM and digital in the form of Classic FM. Divide the DAB bandwidth amongst other national stations (Radio 3 has twice the bandwidth of Radio 1, 2, 4, 6Music and four times that of Radio 5, IIRC) and give the FM frequency to 6Music, which has no commercial alternative (that one that used to be Virgin - Absolute is it? - is AM only to 99% of the population, and XFM's attempts to broadcast outside London have been woeful, with only XFM Manchester surviving).
Also, why not get rid of 1Xtra, which seems to be a pale imitation of every pirate radio station I've heard in my life?
'Scrap Radio 3 - there's a viable commercial alternative broadcasting on FM and digital in the form of Classic FM.'
Classic FM, which plays Themes from Well Known Adverts on heavy rotation and the Popular Classical equivalents of Boy Bands, has much the same relationship to Radio 3 as Radio 1 does to 6music. 3 & 6 broadcast intelligent programming for an (unfortunately limited) audience of actual music lovers and give exposure to less commercial artists, while 1 and CFM (generally) provide aural wallpaper for the masses. No surprise that 6 has struggled to survive while excluded from the 'media platform' that most people actually use - perhaps if they actually succeed in shoving DAB down all our throats by pulling the plug on FM, channels like 6 will stand a better chance of survival. No surprise either that the current gutless BBC adminstration is Assuming the Position in readiness for Cameron and Murdoch's loving attentions after May 6th, while the BBC Trust, fatally compromised by its conflicting remits to serve the audience and pander to the commercial competition, will doubtless rubber stamp the proposals (or add further cuts of their own).
Get rid of the one radio station that's actually worth listening too!
6Music is the jewel in the crown of the BBC's current line-up; a wide range of really excellent music, played by DJs who actually know what they're talking about, rather than fat, talentless knobs like Moyles.
If 6Music is canned, then the Beeb's last chance of a digital switch-over through anything other than coercion will disappear with it.
I'll add my support for 6 music.
Out of my circle of friends I know 2 people with dab radios who listen all the time and another couple who listen occasionally either over the Internet or via freeview. Everyone else loves the station but the only time they listen to radio is when they're in their cars. 6 musics poor listening figures are purely a product of it's digital only status.
For me the station BBC should be getting rid of is Radio 1, 6 music is exactly the sort of station the BBC should be running. I can turn on an FM radio and get at least 5 other stations playing the same rubbish as radio 1. There is nothing producing the kind of output 6 Music has, especially not the evening shows.
If the BBC got rid of Radio 1 that would give the best possible assistance to the commercial stations. Removing two stations with the lowest listening figures will do nothing to assist commercial broadcasters.
I recently went back to listening to 6 Music during the day now that Lamb has bogged off (epic fail BBC for thinking us ladies would swoon over the badger haired twonk). My favourite show is still Craig Charle's show and there really isn't anything out there that matches it. I read recently that 6 Music only costs £7 m a year to run - a pittance really.
Get rid of Switch, 1Xtra and Two Pints instead please!
This is the BBC trying to take a pre-emptive strike before the Tories get in. Cameron used to work for the company that took ITV to its knees, Carlton. And Shadow Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt is so far up the backside of the big media owners he can see what they had for breakfast.
Hunt is the most dangerous man there, mark my words.
Commercial radio TV and Radio are screwed and its of their own doing. The owners have bought pressure to bear on the Tories. The Beeb is the easiest scapegoat I'm afraid.
How can the BBC expect anyone take up DAB when they cull the only thing they've put on there worth listening to? I got a Pure Highway for Christmas so I could listen to 6music in the car. That will go in the boot never to be used again if 6music goes.
Fingers crossed that 6music will be axed and the whole station renamed to Radio 1 and put on FM. Everyone associated with the current pile of twaddle that is Radio 1 should have no trouble getting a show on Another Generic Commercial Radio Station.
Yet more evidence of the Beebs efforts to race towards the bottom end of the market. My favourite recent snippet from Radio 1 was a Newsbeat headline that started "Today, Gordon Brown, who is the Prime Minister of Great Britain.....".
I just thought that illustrated who the Beeb is targeting with Radio 1 perfectly.
I feel the overwhelming urge to turn on my radio. Then I remember, it's shit!
The music's OK, but the crap spoken by the program hosts (DJs) is pure bollox, and it get worse when the let twats from the real world phone-in. Fuck me, they should be killed at birth. I'm not the least bit interested in anything you have to say, including...
"Can I just say hello to anyone who knows me?" NO, FUCK OFF click, bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Kill all radio stations, even the commercial ones.
When I was in my early forties and still listening to Radio 1, I was on a long drive oop north one day when I realised that the average Radio 1 DJ has an IQ somewhere below that of a goldfish (I apologise here to any really smart goldfish who might be reading this). Indeed, I suspect that the very ambition to become a radio "jock" should automatically bar any person from working in radio, television and the meejah in general.
We are in danger of the Murdochs of Mordor having their nasty way with the BBC. They have been cosying up to David Cameron in the hope that he can help them push the bloody awful Sky TV even further up our bottoms. I'd rather the BBC paid Jonathan Woss even more billions than suffer even a moment of bloody Sky.
If I were the BBC's Director General - you know, that guy who can't quite grow a proper beard - I'd tell our know-nothing MPs to bugger off and leave the BBC alone, not start committing suicide in stages.
Simple. Sack every DJ earning over £100K. And take a long hard look at the contracts of any of them earning over £50K - to earn over that, you'd need proven audience-attraction.
For the price of Chris Moyles and his team for one show, you could fund the salaries of everyone on 6Music.
Perhaps we could even get some focus on other music too. Rock is the most enjoyed form of music in the country, but there's no dedicated national rock station. R1 plays vanishingly little rock, and its rock show is on a graveyard slot, and R2 only plays the more MOR-friendly stuff. And I know folk has a bad image, but the Cambridge Folk Festival gets over 5000 people, and Glasto's acoustic sets get a lot of attention too, so it's a bit ironic that folk only gets 1 hour a week on national radio.
One problem with your arguement.
"For the price of Chris Moyles and his team for one show, you could fund the salaries of everyone on 6Music."
Yup, but his show draws over 10x more listeners than the entire radio6 output. So going by your point, Radio6 must die.
"BBC 6 Music
Audience data for September 2009 to December 2009
TSA: This radio station broadcasts to a survey area of 51,280,000,000 adults (aged 15+).
Reach: It is listened to by 695,000 people (1%) each week"
...... "Chris Moyles show, which had 7.72 million listeners each week, up slightly from 7.7 million last quarter. "
... are a bunch of old fogies, aren't you? I like both Moyles & the evening Radio 1 shows. Though I agree, real-world twats are all idiots. 'Stupid Street' is every street.
Isn't Steve Lamacq on 6Music? And I think I've seen Bruce Dickinson in the schedule too. Not quite to my tastes but not too far off.
Let's get rid of Switch, tweens already influence the media way too much...
Even my Mum listens to 6 Music, if only for the Craig Charles Funk and Soul show on Saturday evenings. It's a good show though. I've left the UK now so I get to escape from the likes of Radio 1 and its commercial cousins (Radio 1 + adverts = hell), but it's good to tap into 6 Music every now and again.
As many people have said here, there's nowhere else you can get a mix of genres like this and no endless repetition of mainstream junk. One office where I took a contract had Radio 1 playing; no idea how I managed to work whilst in a radio-induced coma.
Finally, I was pleased to see George Lamb and his stupid sound effects box get relegated to weekends. I read somewhere that he once played four songs in an hour.
Radio - I used to listen to Radio *all* the time from the mid 80's till the late 90's then slowly tailed off listening as the content became more and more shit.
I don't bother anymore.
There's plenty of sites where you can get the lastest music news, sample tracks.
There's social media to share information on new bands.
If you do need a 'radio fix', there's numerous net radio stations you can stream.
Traditional Radio is heading the same was as the DODO.
If I were 6music, I'd shift to an online streaming service - but first, of course, they need financial backing...
To be honest, I've all but given up on conventional music radio, and while Radio 6* seems like the best of a bad bunch, its still really not *that* great. Instead I opt for a range of internet based radio stations while at work, and Radio 4 at home. I stopped listening to Radio 1 shortly after the late, great John Peel passed away (rest his soul etc.) and the way his slot was cannibalized by people that had little knowledge for music, or at best a very narrow minded view. I had hoped that Annie Nightingale would replace him, but instead we got the insipid Lemacq and a load of no-names. Fortunately internet radio has grown to fill the gap.
* A quick scan of the schedule revealed the usual Indie selection plus a dance and a metal show. I'd love a decent New Wave show, or a show that for the darker side of electronic and industrial music. Oh, and a dodgy old goth show. /hides
6Music and Radio 4 are unique. There's nowhere else that has shows like the Freak Zone and Craig Charles' Funk Show. Nothing else that produces stuff like "In Our Time". The listening figures for 6music may not be massive but I bet the demographic is an advertiser's dream.
If they get rid of 6Music I'm for dumping the entire BBC. The TV license is an anachronism. I cannot express my disapproval at them wasting money on "Snog, Marry or Avoid" but axing the content I like. If I don't pay my license fee then I'll be harrassed and most likely taken to court. So time to dump the lot , and let the market rule.
Just to add my support for 6 Music, not that it's worth anything. Especially now that Lamb has been shoved into a corner slot it is a superb station playing a great variety of interesting music which is generally somewhat out of the main stream. It's worth it for Stuart Maconie's Freak zone alone. Surely this is the kind of thing that the BBC should support? Indeed, though it pains me to say this, if the BBC is not supporting this kind of station what point does the BBC have?
The BBC is not state funded.
I, for one, think the license fee is bloody cheap for what you get. I don't subscribe to Sky, as I couldn't imagine paying a subscription fee AND having more than 50% of airtime as adverts. Shudder. But I hear people at work complaining about the license fee, but quite happy to pay 30 to 40 pounds a month for adverts. ???
To all those who are giving up on Radio 1, isn't it just natural that you're going to grow out of it? I used to listen to it all the time until the early 90s, then it just didn't appeal any more (except Mark & Lard).
At one time there seemed to be a ready-made progression of BBC radio: Radio 1 > Radio 2 and then you could add in Radio 4 or, if you were really cosmopolitan, Radio 3. But now that Radios 1 and 2 are just commercial-free clones playing bland rubbish, there just isn't anywhere to go.
Personally I find 6 music rather boring, but just because I don't happen to like it, doesn't mean it's crap.
Somebody needs to take some REAL radical (ie commercially suicidal) ideas to liven up radio, otherwise it's just going to die the death, if it hasn't already.
@AC: "And Shadow Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt is so far up the backside of the big media owners he can see what they had for breakfast." - that is genuinely funny, I've made a note of that!
The Radio stations in NZ , are painful to listen to, and the commercial stations have a lot of ads that see to be aimed at 3 year olds.
I haven't listened to any Radio for about a year.
It may seem strange to you but the television available from Sky is superior to the local ones.
News on the Government run TVNZ , is at the same level as the private one TV3-suitable for teenagers or below.
Plenty of variety on Sky and the BBC news seems to actually be aimed at adults.
What Sky gives us , has a lot less than 50%, and much less than the local lot which does seem to
be about 50%.
I think that the Beeb would be better off relying on the stable import business that CH4 and Five have implimented and solely rely on US imports. Let's be honest here, the UK has failed to create a high quality export... ever? I can't think of one, and Dr Who most certainly does not count, you cannot equate it to the high calibre being outputted by HBO for example.
This culling is understandable, the cost of BBC as a whole is immense and the realisation that nobody actually uses the local news sites, its many portals and subs, means that web content must go to favour the iPlayer services.
It's not about the lack of an advertising platform that allows the beeb to suffer, it's that it is far to big an organisation to take risk on new talent, big budgets and the export game.
A lot of the arguments being bandied about in favour of the alleged closures seem to be based on running the BBC like a commercial station. Who cares if the stations only get small audiences, that has never been the point of the BBC. If that was all the BBC cared about then all we'd have would be Radio 2 and BBC1 - they consistently get the best audience figures at any time of day. Based on the strength of audience figures then most local stations would have to go too.
When audience figures are the sole driver for BBC output then the BBC will die.