Tuesday, 2 March 2010


Radio 6Music
I usually like the BBC but am annoyed to see that the director general has decided to shut down 6Music. That's the relatively X-Factor free channel playing broad music that sets it apart from many of the regular commercial channels. rashbre central has certain eclectic music tastes and 6Music is one of them.

I decided to do some digging to see how much this digital channel costs to run, per annum and it seems to be around £6 to £9million, depending on whose version you read. In the scheme of things, that's a small amount for some originality and quality programming. As an example, Radio 5 costs £72m and Radio 4 is around £109m.

I also checked on the BBC Broadcasting House Refurbishment project which was originally planned to run to around £1billion. It has overrun by a currently projected £55million. Thats enough to pay for a few digital channels alone.

I can't help wondering whether the priorities are somehow becoming unbalanced?

Instead of promoting new format digital channels, we see them cost cut to offset bad project management.

I can't help wondering whether the BBC top brass was ever really behind the 6Music idea in any case? New music, independent artists, some not signed to labels, live recordings...whatever next? Maybe that's why it was a DAB and internet only channel instead of one that could also be listened to in the car. It would also make it easier to close if the audience figures were somewhat disappointing.

There's some story about boosting the playlists for Radio 2, but equally there's a discussion already running about keeping the Radio 2 demographic north of age 50 or something. It amounts to just running a time machine of safe old tunes from Radio 1 in the 1970s and 80s as a form of lazy programming.
old 6music logo with friends
If even Mark Thompson himself says there is a lot of 'great content' and 'some real talent' on 6Music, then it poses a serious point about where BBC is positioning its values.

On this occasion, a brief line to the BBC complaints department is in order, I notice it can be found at:

as well as at 03700 100 222.

There's also the BBC Trust to consider, which is to review the intended decision and which has its own email and member list.

I won't directly add the emails here in the interests of spam avoidance, but michael.lyons, richard.tait, jeremy.peat, mehmuda.mian, david.liddiment, janet.lewis-jones, rotha.johnston, patricia.hodgson, alison.hastings, anthony.fry, diane.coyle, chitra.bharucha as well as trust.enquiries and srconsultation all take an AT bbc.co.uk suffix as the publicly disclosed names of the members of the Trust. They would love to hear from people with views about BBC decisions.

Of course, there is more about all of this at the BBC consultations website for their strategy review

Whilst writing this, I notice that there's now a Facebook group and a new www.love6music.com website which are part of other folks' attempts to register a similar point.

If you are not already a listener, I'm told that iPlayer is the way to get your listening noticed, via http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/playlive/bbc_6music/

Stay tuned.

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