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Question Time simulcast and schedule changes

Thursday 28 March 2013, 10:06

Jonathan Wall Jonathan Wall Controller, Radio 5 Live

David Dimbleby

I just wanted to share some information about schedule changes we will be introducing in a couple of months time.

When I took over the controller job less than a month ago, I said that one of my big priorities was to put the spotlight on our news journalism and to increase our reputation in that area.  I also wanted us to launch some ambitious projects that would raise the awareness of 5 live across the UK.

So far we have launched our biggest ever female audience targeted project – Bump Club.

Last week, we announced our 5 live Big Day Out event in Liverpool on 1 June – that will be our biggest ever single outside broadcast event.

We have also had a TV trail running on BBC TV highlighting our news coverage, including recent specials on immigration and Iraq ten years on.

My next set of changes will come into effect in May – a lot of them are down to audience feedback we have received on blogs and from our own research so thank you for being part of the conversation with us.

You can read all about them in this press release. They include a new Thursday night politics special, Tony Livesey moving to a new home on weekend breakfast, Pienaar’s Politcs moving to Sunday morning and by popular demand Sportsweek is back to a 9am-10am slot each week.

Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment.

BBC press release

From 16 May, BBC 5 live will simulcast Question Time hosted by David Dimbleby on Thursday nights as part of a new commitment to politics. The 5 live show will start from the earlier time of 10pm, with Stephen Nolan and John Pienaar following up with live debate on the topics addressed in the show. Then, from early September, popular Sunday politics programme Pienaar’s Politics moves to a more prominent 10am Sunday morning slot.

John Pienaar says: “With a coalition government in office, and the country still in an economic hole, it’s important to watch our politicians, explain what they’re up to, and hold them to account - while also allowing them to speak for themselves. I’m delighted to be a part of these schedule changes, which will allow us to put an even greater emphasis on strong political debate, and hopefully bring programmes to as many listeners as possible.”

Steve Anderson, Executive Producer of Question Time for Mentorn Media, says: "It's a testament to Question Time's importance that Radio 5 live now wants to broadcast the programme as it transmits on BBC One. We are delighted the BBC wants to bring even more people to the show and to extend the debate after David Dimbleby has said goodnight."

Weekend Breakfast will also have a new look from Saturday 11 May as Tony Livesey joins the early morning team. Eleanor Oldroyd will co-present on Saturdays while Radio Manchester’s Sam Walker joins Tony for the extended Sunday morning show, which will run until 9am. Gary Richardson’s iconic Sportsweek will move to a later slot of 9am.

Phil Williams will move from weekends to late nights with his own show on Monday to Wednesday’s from 10.30pm to 1am, starting on Monday 13 May.

These schedule changes follow the recent introduction of Bump Club, 5 live’s biggest ever female-audience-targeted project, and the announcement of a second Big Day Out, the most ambitious outside broadcast ever undertaken by the station, which will take place in Liverpool on 1 June.

Controller of Radio 5 live, Jonathan Wall said: "We want to create some really exciting new shows that showcase our news journalism - from a dynamic Thursday night around Question Time to an agenda-setting Sunday morning show. I believe all of these changes will make us even better and more distinctive and I know I’ve got great presenters and programme teams in place looking forward to creating something special for our listeners.”

Comments

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 1.

    So far we have launched our biggest ever female audience targeted project – Bump Club.

    As a female the above comment has me despairing. Is that a serious comment? Is my world expected to revolve around pregnancy issues? Presumably there is no real news about women in the workplace, the effect of benefits cuts on women, the issue of changes to the state pension or even heaven forbid the worlds of science, technology, women's sport. That's not even the start of the list which would interest this female, but hey - pigeonholing female listeners into bump club audiences probably ticks some sort of inclusion vote. What about expectant fathers or men who have an interest in pregnancy related issues? Are they just an added bonus?

    It's a pity because the other changes are on the whole very positive, but that comment has just left me feeling we have gone back in time 30 years.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 2.

    Simulcast? As in Simultaneous? So broadcasting something 35 minutes before it is available on another platform isn't Simulcasting. Time-slipping, maybe, but the headline is plain wrong, if all the tweets and the like are correct on having it start at 2200 on R5L and 2235 on BBC1.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 3.

    By having the 'Bump Club' you, IMO have alienated a large proportion of older women who have long since had their children. If you are aiming for the younger female audience to the detriment of the rest of us - just say so. Women, as Prosperos Girl has already said have very many more issues affecting us than just having babies.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 4.

    Mixed emotions with these changes. I'm sad that Tony Livsey is leaving late nights, we has been brilliant and perhaps my favourite ever in that slot.

    Really pleased about Sportsweek moving back to 9am, I've not been a regular listener to the show for a couple of years now (not just because of the timeslot) but this might be perfect to get me back into the show.

    I think its a good idea to move John Pienaar to Sunday mornings as well, is the show still an hour or going to be for two hours and move Adrian Goldberg back to evenings?

    Jordan #2 I think from reading about 5 Live are on air at 10pm to preview QT then the simulcast will start when QT starts on BBC1.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 5.

    @Prosperous Girl Of course, because only women are affected by any of these things. Men are not affected by redundancy, ill health, family breakdown, and as we all know, only women pay the licence fee.

    Your only problem is that the BBC isn't as obsessed with women as you are.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 6.

    I emailed Jonathon directly with my views on the station. I think leaving people like Bacon in place is just short sighted. He did not address the issue I feel most relevant - the complete ignoring of the rest of the country unless it is a news story. Features should be country wide and taking the Big Day Out to - my goodness the distance - Liverpool shows just how short of imagination his managers and producers are. He said that West London experts (?) used to be used so meaning it is OK to use Salford uni experts. They are the best you can get? NO!
    I agree Bump Club is boring and pretty little to do with most people in the country. The national unemployment issues, benefits problems, health, you name it, are more interesting than those boring women going on about their pregnancies.
    5 Live world is based in a small piece of England and blow the rest of us listeners. Local radio - Manc MPs, councillors, experts, there is no room for anyone else.
    Sadly the days when you could expect weekly 'from our own local reporter' pieces from the regions is now gone. Shame.
    Finally the ridiculous mess of having to be in Salford to broadcast unless you are Vicky. Or flying Nolan over - for even longer soon, putting him up plus his expenses, when you can't tell where someone is broadcasting from at all because the technology that has cost us licence payers so much allows for remote programming.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 7.

    Jonathon.Wall.01@bbc.co.uk

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 8.

    I wondered how long it would be before the newly promoted 'manager' couldn't help himself meddling in his new play thing's schedule. My heart sank when the station announced "Bump Club" as a new feature, knowing it would be another cliched ridden, dumbed down piece of broadcasting. Tony Livesey has carved out his own witty intelligent and informative style without the need for gimmicks like this. Then I read the worst part of the changes, you put the blokey amateur Phil Williams on late nights from Monday to Wednesdays. There's a reason why he's only ever filled in for others or has been confined to early morning weekends and that's because he lacks gravitas and an ability to ask intelligent and insightful questions, with a necessity to drag everything down to a football analogy. His diction certainly isn't up to a standard for regular broadcasting on a national radio station.
    Leaving Bacon in place is a mistake that is also glaringly obvious. Remember his slot used to be filled by the mighty Simon Mayo who was the perfect presenter and who could manage anything from a serious interview with a politician or breaking news to discussing arts and entertainment. Bacon has now dumbed this down to inaneness and stupidity.
    Five Live was the station which commanded respect and had gravitas due the depth of its presenters such as Matthew Bannister, Fi Glover, Richard Dallyn, Brian Hayes, Sybil Ruscoe and Jane Garvey. Now you give us Bacon, Williams, Burden and the unlistenable Adebayo. By all means use the normally excellent John Pienaar in a more prominent position and the simulcast with QT may well be an interesting experiment, but it's just moving the deckchairs on The Titanic when you employ presenters which lack basic journalistic skills and gravitas. It was the same when you moved everything to Salford -just it wasn't a location change that was needed. Now it is becoming an Alan Partridge style North West biased station, except that it is also broadcast nationally. At least while it was in West London, there was a sense that there were feeds coming in from around the country, indeed the world -since it was located at the heart of the news department. RIP Five Live, I've gone this far with you but no further. Mr Wall thanks for hammering in the final coffin nail.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 9.

    Excellent observations Surfdoc.
    It really is quite worrying how Five Live has spiralled downwards in terms of presenter quality and the material it considers suitable for broadcast.
    The current presenters simply have no gravitas - Bannister, Hayes, Garvey and Warwicker always gave the impression they were in control, perhaps even when they were not! Contrast that with Derbyshire and Campbell who seen to thnk its clever on their dreadful phone in's to line up 4 callers and then let it develop into a free fo all. They obviously never listen back to their output otherwise they would realise just how bad it is. And when she can be bothered to turn up, Derbyshire's constant sighing and hand wringing style is instant turn off material.
    It's a pretty sad state of affairs at Five Live I regret. It needed a bold outsider to come in as Controller, not an easy internal appointment who is going to move the chairs around.
    Alarmingly in Mr Wall's shake up he is giving Nolan more prominence. This dreadful man has no place in community radio let alone on a national broadcaster and I concur with earlier comments that Phil Williams is pretty lightweight.
    One final gripe. Will someone please tell Bob Mlls that he is simply not funny. And neither is Colin Murray come to that.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 10.

    I was pleased when I heard the changes, but hope it is just the beginning and that Bacon, Derbyshire and Adebayo will be removed eventually. I have no idea why Nolan has been given even more prominence though. He is so pleased with himself and gets over excited if he thinks he has uncovered a minor scoop. The paper reviewers rarely get to review papers because he wants to continue discussing the earlier subjects ad nauseum. Early weekend mornings have been a mess for ages, it seems without any regular presenters. Why hasn't Phil Williams been on for a while and why does Eleanor Oldroyd come and go? She is an excellent broadcaster. I am pleased that Phil Williams is going to be doing 3 evenings, although I know what people say about his diction and less than incisive questioning. I think he will be fine in that slot. It can't be sillier than Livesey, although he can do serious quite well when the occasion demands. As for Bump Club, I think it has alienated more women than it has attracted. It's of no interest to me and I switch off.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 11.

    Carrie, Jack and Lesley, all very interesting and I agree so much with a lot of your sentiments too. Warwicker was someone I forgot, but also a great broadcaster before the decline to the populist celebrity driven pap of Derbyshire and Bacon. I think Campbell could be much better if only he wasn't so smug and didn't enjoy his own jokes so much and didn't have that Burden woman barely able to contain herself while starstruck by her latest guest down the line. I need to say too how magnificent Brian Hayes was on a Friday evening. I would record his programme if I couldn't listen. I couldn't say that about the terrible shouty and as you say "so pleased with himself", Nolan. He has no room for anyone's voice except his own. Definitely a terrible trait for a speech broadcaster. Lesley, you're right about Livesey....it's a shame he doesn't use his obviously able brain a bit more sometimes.
    What I still can't get over is how Adebayo gets away with a renewed contract. This man can hardly string a sentence together or read a news item without struggling to read 50% of the words either clearly or even correctly. Yet, for over half the nights a week, he is allowed to bumble on, with his ridiculous voices, covering up his ignorance with singing or stupid accents. He may tick the BBC's boxes, but appointments should be on merit, not on box ticking.
    Finally, I make these comments not because I want to knock the station or the BBC, quite the opposite. I used to LOVE Five Live. It was my natural radio home after LBC dumbed down everything to a radio phone in. I also think the BBC is the world's greatest broadcaster, but I don't want R5L to have a slow miserable dumbed down decline like LBC, I and millions others want it to see it restored to its previous standards, not just tolerate it as we currently do. The World Service is a beacon for what it does, but I shouldn't have to tune into it because Adebayo is still prattling on uninteligablely about something he obviously knows so little about -again. This isn't an ultra local community pirate radio station, this is BBC National Radio!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 12.

    Actually I think Dotun is very entertaining. The reason he bumbles a bit is because unlike half of the day staff, he is actually unscripted. He is behaving like we all do in conversations as opposed to reading stuff to say off a screen. He is a bright bloke if you listen to him and hear his background and knowledge come out.
    I came on this morning because I think it is hilarious that you have an advert for Hoddle's Top 10 alongside the new 5Live religious correspondent talking about the latest leaders of the church. Now I know you think that shows the diversity of the station, but it shows so much about its shallowness. Like Colin and the Big Day out. Glad for Liverpool but as there are fewer than half a million inhabitants there, maybe another area outside the 5Live cabbie circuit could have a chance - Birmingham 1 million plus never gets anything!
    I know Tony Hall won't make the slightest difference to 5Live because it is so far down the priority list. Nevertheless if you don't get rid of some of the rubbish your numbers will be going down further in the rajars and you'll be fishing for answers again.
    Speaking of rajars, why is there to be no report until the end of May? That will make 5 months since a quarterly report was published.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 13.

    I don't know how anyone could praise Tony Livesey and the late night show. I switched it onl briefly last night and he was asking people to text in with stories of 'food they had dropped on the floor'. Thank heavens he is leaving. This is pathetic stuff worthy of CBBC.

 

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