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  1. #1
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    Default BBC cuts and closures

    It seems the recent rumours are true.

    BBC 6 Music and Asian Network are facing closure, Mark Thompson Director General of the corporation, has said.

    Speaking to staff Mr Thompson also announced that there will be 25% less spent on BBC online by 2013.

    Among the closures will be teen services Switch and Blast, with Mr Thompson admitting Channel 4 should lead the way with these audiences.

    He pledged that in the future 90p of every licence fee £1 will be spent on programming.
    Should the Beeb be closing these two radio channels? Should more of their fringe channels be axed or are these niche channels catering for people ignored by the commercial sector? Where would you save money at the BBC?
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  2. #2
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    It sounds like an excuse to cut costs to me, which is fair enough in the recession. But not good for pop music: (from Popjustice website)

    You'll be reading a lot today about the imminent demise of the BBC's alternative music radio station 6Music.

    Despite a playlist that doesn't exactly fit in with the Popjustice view of things and with the exception of Huey from Fun Lovin' Criminals having his own show 6Music's one of the few spots on the 'radio dial' to guarantee an idiot-free listen - it's also very much in tune with the musical tastes of some prolific tweeters, the majority of music journalists and other influential early-to-mid-to-late-30s media tastemakey people. So you'll be hearing a lot of people being upset that their favourite radio station might be taken off air but there'll probably be slightly less fuss about, for example, BBC Asian Network, which is arguably a better use of the licence fee but is looking at a fate similar to 6Music's.

    You might also not read much about some of the other cuts in music coverage. In The Times' report today it's claimed that "the BBC will pledge to leave its commercial rivals to take the lead role in serving teenagers, and will announce the closure of its teen brands, BBC Switch and Blast!". The Times also says that BBC Worldwide must dispense with its magazines arm, which includes Top Of The Pops magazine, while it's not looking good for online propositions like the Radio 1 Chart Blog and the daily 5:19 Show, as part of Switch, is unlikely to make it through the cuts.

    Interestingly, a sad day for 6Music listeners is also a sad day for Radio 1 listeners because the closure of 6Music will have a huge impact on Radio 1's playlist. According to The Times, "Andy Parfitt, the [Radio 1] Controller, will be told that the demise of 6 Music will lead Radio 1 to become the corporation’s only major outlet for popular [by popular they mean not classical or opera shit] music. He will be ordered to tie the station more closely to 1Xtra, its digital counterpart, with greater cross-promotion".

    What this seems to suggest is that Radio 1 will have to take on board 6Music music and 1Xtra music, playing more alternative and urban tuneage. We can tell you right now that the number of 6Music listeners likely to switch to Radio 1 due to Greg James playing an extra Ash b-side every fortnight is precisely zero. What will happen, however, is that there will be less room for pop on Radio 1. Switch on a Sunday night is one of the only places on the Radio 1 schedule for a decent pop exclusive. Switch does Girls Aloud first plays and things like that, but Switch is going.

    This means you're looking at daytime for pop coverage, but with more genres to fit in, will Radio 1 be able to find room for a new Mini Viva, or a new Pixie Lott, or a new JLS? Will it even bother, or will it just be left to 'commercial rivals' leaving Fearne Cotton to bang on about The Temper Trap at even greater length?

    It's not looking good, readers. It's not looking good at all. What we seem to be looking at here is the BBC turning its back on pop music

    Read more: http://www.popjustice.com/index.php?...#ixzz0h0wZ4GX6
    People on PS might not care about that too much - some might even be pleased - but not being able to check the latest UK charts on the BBC website each Sunday has got to be bad news. In fact, a backwards step for on-line content is not good for anyone.

    Si.

  3. #3
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    The thing is when internet and digital TV came along, they expanded a bit too rapidly, just expecting to be able to increase the license fee as they pleased to foot the bill.

    Obviously the Government set limits to how much they could increase it, and now the BBC are crying foul etc, and threatening to cut services.

    Ironically ... far from being advert free, when I log into the BBC newsite for instance, there are adverts in the side (I think this is an outside the UK thing). So they're getting additional revenue for webservices from somewhere.
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

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    It's a very baffling decision, and a sad one as it's the only radio station I listen to, apart from the odd occasion I tune in to BBC Radio 7.
    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.” - Gutle Schnaper Rothschild

  5. #5
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    [by popular they mean not classical or opera shit] music.
    And with that comment they forfeit any chance of a fair hearing I was prepared to give them.

    I've never listened to 6 Music, but it's interesting that people are raising the ghost of John Peel to justify its existence- the obvious comment there is that twenty or thirty years ago there was room in the Radio 1 schedule for somebody who was passionate about popular music and its highways and byways, and now there isn't. So somebody had the idea of creating a whole radio station to do what one man used to achieve with a few hours of airtime.

  6. #6
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    It's clear that the BBC has chosen these two stations because each pushes certain buttons - 6music is listened to by the Media Guardian reading class who will whip up a Twitter storm of protest and the Asian Network is an obvious symbol of the BBC catering for different sectors of the community. Either of them could become election issues - candidates trying to look cool by siding with 6music or inclusive by championing the Asian Network.

    Neither channel needs to exist of course - the BBC has two national radio stations to cater to popular music fans of all shapes and sizes. If 336 hours a week isn't enough to give everyone something they like then whoever is running those channels should be re-evaluated. Equally, whatever role the Asian Network played - and apparently it wasn't all that well liked in the Asian community - could be incorporated into the schedules of 4 and 5. If indeed there is any need for Asian specific radio programming.

    I wrote about this at length at the weekend - there is nothing wrong with the BBC having a diverse range of digital channels as long as (a) each has a clear purpose and (b) they aren't used as an excuse not to put a broad range of programmes on the main channels.

    The BBC needs to decide once and for all what its number one priority is - quality, quantity or ratings. Their digital expansion smacked too much of quantity and now they're facing up to the reality that they have too many channels that don't have an obvious reason to exist. If they'd thought it through before they started, they might not be having this problem today. If 6music had always been Radio 2 Extra then it would almost certainly be safe. Like 5Live Sports Extra it would serve an obvious purpose and be left alone. It would say to the world that Radio 2 is so good and so popular that it needs two stations to play all its music and do all its quizzes. Just as 5's sister station proudly boasts that 5 Live has so much sports coverage that it needs twice as many frequencies to broadcast it all. Amidst all the bad news I did spot that BBC7 is to be rebranded as Radio 4 Extra. My point exactly.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lissa View Post
    Equally, whatever role the Asian Network played - and apparently it wasn't all that well liked in the Asian community - could be incorporated into the schedules of 4 and 5. If indeed there is any need for Asian specific radio programming.
    There seem to be about twenty or thirty Asian interest television stations on Sky- it's a curious balance considering that my Polish colleague Marta has to go online if she wants to watch anything in her own language and I'd guess there are more Polish-speakers than Gaelic-speakers in the country at the moment. Perhaps it's a case of there being enough Asian entrepreneurs and potential backers in this country for a commercial Asian station to be viable in its own right- similarly with 6 Music, if you're going to ditch a music station, ditch the one which appeals to the age group most likely to be going to gigs and spending £50-odd a month on CDs.

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    Yeah but Asia has always been associated with the UK, being part of our Empire and our Commonwealth, so there are stronger links there.

    Unlike Poland ... which we went to war to free, before handing it over to Stalin ...
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

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    As Lissa says, the whole thing is a publicity seeking leak by the Beeb to once again moan about not being given a blank cheque. I don't listen to either station, but I can't help thinking that on the grand scale of things radio is far, far cheaper to run than television.

    And, hell, there's a huge amount of daytime pap that could be trimmed, and replaced with the equivalent of BBC7 in terms of repeats from the BBC archives. While stuff like Heir Hunters, Cash under the bed and Antiques shuffle look cheap they can't be really (presenter + cameraman + sound, filmed over several days). Or why not repeat the good stuff from BBC3 and 4 from the night before, for those who can't stay up late or who don't have digital yet ?
    Bazinga !

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    Is Being Human ever repeated on BBC1 or BBC2? Seems criminal if it isn't. Actually it's the kind of thing they'd have created for BBC2 a few years ago.

    I have to admit being stuck here in NZ, the channel I'm missing the most is BBC2 which was my favourite by far, and I realise now, there isn't another one quite like it possibly in the whole world, as a fair degree of what was on was intelligent over popular programming.

    And it used to annoy me how a lot of people refused to watch stuff ... just cos it was on BBC2, like somehow you'd pick up something from tuning in. Heck I was married to one of those people!
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  11. #11
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    I'm sure I've said it before, but I think BBC3 is something of an accountancy exercise, in that it allows the start-up costs of the likes of Being Human, Torchwood, Little Britain and so on to be paid for out of a budget other than BBC1 and 2. A lot of the comedy is either experimental, silly or not very good, but every so often you can get something which takes off and goes mainstream with the added bonus that there's already a certain amount of word of mouth from the people who've already seen it on BBC3 or iPlayer.

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    The downside of the BBC3 approach can be that something which becomes a hit - and therefore which becomes impossible to make because the stars are in demand elsewhere - often "wastes" its first series on BBC3. Yes, it will be shown on BBC1 or BBC2 but the Little Britain cat is out of the bag and they're already on borrowed time when they debut on the big channel.

    And I'm not sure whether this -

    if you're going to ditch a music station, ditch the one which appeals to the age group most likely to be going to gigs and spending £50-odd a month on CDs.
    - was well crafted sarcasm or if you're saying a station with a passionate following is a more suitable target for closure than one with an apathetic audience.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  13. #13
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    Neither- the point I was trying to make was that the kind of people who listen to 6 Music are probably into "serious" music and already spending a fair part of their disposable income on their interest. What both the radio stations have in common was that they'd reached a critical point where they were failing to reach enough of their target audience to justify their existence and either needed more investment to capture an audience from commercial radio, or an admission that they probably weren't the sort of thing the BBC could do effectively on the money available.

  14. #14
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    BBC may replace local radio with 5 Live broadcasts

    Trade union leaders have condemned proposals being considered by the BBC to axe much of its local radio output, claiming it could lead to the loss of more than 700 jobs.

    The BBC, which is seeking savings of more than £400m following last year's licence fee freeze, is looking at cutting all of its local radio programmes, apart from the breakfast and drivetime shows, and replacing them with content from national news and sport station, BBC Radio 5 Live.
    I'm really gutted to hear this, and will be very sad if it comes true. I listen to BBC London 94.9 every day, and feel it is the best radio station out there bar none, imo. I do not want to listen to Five Live (I find it dreadfully boring), and would not if it was to replace it.

    Local Radio really does deliver a great service to it's audience, not just with locally influenced entertainment, but also provides essential travel updates and news. BBC London, as an example, played a very vital role recently in 'The Big Freeze', where certain parts of London were unpassable while other areas were unaffected.

    What does PS think?
    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.” - Gutle Schnaper Rothschild

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    They'd be better off ditching Five Live and all of the over-paid superstars on that channel.

    How expensive can local radio be? Shouldn't it be local stars, competing to broadcast at national level and earning minimal wage in the mean-time? Can't they merge some of the local broadcasts rather than cut them altogether?
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    They'd be better off ditching Five Live and all of the over-paid superstars on that channel.
    Gaaah !! Rad 5L is the second best thing about BBC radio (until they screw up BBC7 after its rebranding to Rad4 Extra).

    Local radio, OTOH, is only for school closures and bring and buy sales - the areas are usually nonsensical, and just as focussed on one particular town as national radio is on London and Manchester.

    Scrap it, I say, and leave it to the commercial stations !!
    Bazinga !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Masters View Post
    Local radio, OTOH, is only for school closures and bring and buy sales - the areas are usually nonsensical, and just as focussed on one particular town as national radio is on London and Manchester.
    I can't speak for other areas, but in BBC London's case what you describe couldn't be further from the truth.

    Scrap it, I say, and leave it to the commercial stations !!
    What commercial alternatives to local radio are there? Please don't say Capital...

    Whereas there are plenty of commercial alternatives to 5 Live.
    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.” - Gutle Schnaper Rothschild

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Masters View Post
    Local radio, OTOH, is only for school closures and bring and buy sales
    and invaluable when it snows

    BBC Radio Berkshire also provided light entertainment when Reading beat Liverpool. Not that you would ever get that live commentary out of BBC Radio 5 Live - No, you'd be lucky if they 'touched in' every 15 minutes!
    Assume you're going to Win
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Vale View Post
    I can't speak for other areas, but in BBC London's case what you describe couldn't be further from the truth.
    Well, obviously I can't speak for London, but BBC Sussex / Surrey / Solent all tend to share programmes at times, and are the usual tedious mix of so called local news stories (usually involving Brighton), phone-ins that make Down the Line seem normal, or tedious interviews with once-upon-a-time minor celebrities. I can't listen to it in the car in case I fall asleep at the wheel and kill someone. Commercial stations like Southern FM are far more listener friendly.

    And while I'd happily beat Nicky Tosspot Campbell all day with a bit of 4 by 2, I only listen to 5 live for Mayo and Kermode on a Friday, and all the stuff at the weekend. I don't know of any commercial station that features so much live sport.
    Bazinga !

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15165926

    The BBC is planning to cut 2,000 jobs and radically change programming in order to cut 20% from its budget over the next five years.

    No channels will close. Some money will be reinvested in new programmes.

    All new daytime programming will shift to BBC One, with BBC Two broadcasting news and repeats of peak-time shows.
    What does PS think about these new proposals?

    I'm absolutely gutted, if they all come to pass. I'm pretty pissed off about the closure of the BBC HD channel (to be replaced by a HD version of BBC Two), but most of all I'm appalled by the proposals to cut local radio.

    BBC London 94.9, as a thank you for continued increases in it's listenership, is being rewarded with 25% cuts!!

    No afternoon programming, and no evening shows either. Goodbye to Robert Elms, Danny Baker, Jo Good, Jazzie B, and many more.
    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.” - Gutle Schnaper Rothschild

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Vale View Post
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15165926



    What does PS think about these new proposals?

    I'm absolutely gutted, if they all come to pass. I'm pretty pissed off about the closure of the BBC HD channel (to be replaced by a HD version of BBC Two), but most of all I'm appalled by the proposals to cut local radio.

    BBC London 94.9, as a thank you for continued increases in it's listenership, is being rewarded with 25% cuts!!

    No afternoon programming, and no evening shows either. Goodbye to Robert Elms, Danny Baker, Jo Good, Jazzie B, and many more.
    In fairness since BBC One HD came into being last year an increasing percentage of BBC HD's content has come from BBC Two rather than Three or Four so it won't really make a huge difference (admittedly I don't personally watch many Three and Four programmes).

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    BBC4 is good for art, music & other documentaries & BBC3 is great for extra entertainment programmes that don't make it on to BBC1/2 like Family Guy, Doctor Who confidential (now defunct), Being Human, Fades etc. It's a good place for the BBC to try different genres of show that may be seen as too niche for the main 2 BBC channels.

    Personally I'd miss them if they went.

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    Just realised my last post was unclear. I was specifically referring to not objecting to BBC HD becoming BBC Two HD as that's what it already is a lot of the time.

    On a seperate note I do want to see BBC Three and Four continue as the latter does have a lot of interesting stuff (admittedly I end up recording a lot and never having time to watch). BBC Three is a bit more of a mixed bag but when it's good (ie original dramas like Being Human and The Fades) it is very, very good.
    Last edited by Richard Brinck-Johnsen; 8th Oct 2011 at 11:46 PM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Brinck-Johnsen View Post
    Just realised my last post was unclear. I was specifically referring to not objecting to BBC HD becoming BBC Two HD as that's what it already is a lot of the time.
    I just foresee many shows I would watch, from BBC Four, will now only now get an airing in HD some weeks later if they get shown on BBC Two. This means I won't be watching them when first shown (or 'live'), pushing me towards more timeshifting. Something that, technically, I don't need a tv license for. Like currently with the Sarah Jane Adventures.

    For the first time ever, I'm questioning the value, and benefits, of paying for the tv license.
    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.” - Gutle Schnaper Rothschild

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    So does that mean, if you don't have HD, you'll effectively lose BBC2?

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