Well, this is good news. It is becoming a bit boring, though, to be honest. Every now and then, the BBC, for whatever reason, decides it has to cut back on its radio stations. This time, it’s the whole of the BBC local radio network, some 40 stations. Last year it was BBC 6 Music, the DAB digital station.
And many years ago, the ‘Save GLR Campaign’ managed to increase the audience figures for the ‘local’ station for London at a time when its own publicity machine was to all intents and purposes non-existent.
‘Delivering Quality First’ is the heading under which the BBC is making cuts to many of its services. One of the many arguments against cutting back on the local radio services is: how come such gems as BBC 3’s ‘Snog, Marry, Avoid’ is still going?
The BBC should be making and broadcasting programmes, on TV as well as on radio, that the commercial sector wouldn’t touch with a barge-pole. It should not be copying ITV’s output, it should be innovating. People are quite rightly cross that the BBC is going to start showing ‘The Voice’ which is a copy of ITV’s ‘The X Factor’, and if stories are to be believed, its judges, possibly including one Kylie Minogue will be paid millions of pounds – money which would easily keep the threatened local radio stations going for several months.
I’m not the biggest fan of BBC London, apart from those bits still left over from its predecessor, the aforementioned GLR, but it too has its own loyal following. And I’m sure the same can be said for the other local radio stations.
As some of the comments make clear, the Director General Mark Thompson doesn’t come out of this well. He is so out of touch with the BBC’s audience, he really shouldn’t be in that position.