The Future of 6 Music

Tuesday 13 April 2010, 18:42

Tim Davie Tim Davie Director of Audio & Music

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6 Music has been a hot topic since we announced the proposal to close the network in the Strategy Review. The speculation about its future took a new twist over the weekend with a newspaper report that claimed that the network is set to be rebranded as Radio 2 Extra.

Firstly, let me make it clear that, while we have proposed rebranding Radio 7 as Radio 4 Extra, there are no such plans for 6 Music. But I should also explain that the proposals made in the Strategy Review are the first part of a process. The BBC Trust are currently consulting the public on those proposals and nothing will happen until after the consultation is closed.

In my previous blog - here - I outlined the rationale for the closure of 6 Music and said that we will reinvest any funds from the proposed closure of 6 Music in digital radio content. This commitment to digital radio remains and we are looking at a number of ways of doing this. I said we would look at protecting some 6 Music programming by redeploying it elsewhere and considering how we can also do justice to its legacy in areas like new music development. This commitment also remains. But simply rebranding 6 Music as Radio 2 Extra is not one of our plans.

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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

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    Comment number 2.

    Oh good, 2 Extra was a silly idea anyway - almost totally different audiences, like Radio 1 and 6Music. Which is why the crumbs that you still deem fit to throw out ('some 6 Music programming....redeploying..') make even less sense.

    Do you ever stop? Every single person from us poor listeners, through musicians, the BPI, the press all the way up to apparently Gordon Brown are telling you that this is a damn fool idea and you still persist. We don't want your meagre offerings and talk of 'legacy'. We want a vibrant, award winning, serious alternative popular music station to be proud of. Actually, the one we already have. Not a few pathetic 'specialist' offerings in the middle of the night on inappropriate stations.

    I'm prepared to conceded that you have no grasp of the nuances of popular music and why Robert Wyatt or Can may not appeal to an audience more familiar with Lady Ga Ga or Jamie Cullum. So why not talk to people who do, take their advice on board and come back to the table with a more appropriate response.

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    Comment number 3.

    Glad to hear you deny this Mr Davie. 2 Extra is a terrible idea - the fans of the comfy, mainstream Horlicks alternative are well served enough already. Extra Katie Melua and Jamie Cullum for all! No thanks. Radio 2 listeners don't cross over with 6Music listeners much at all, as I am sure you are aware. Us bohemian, less mainstream music listeners pay our licence fee as well, you know.

    However, who was it who leaked this to the papers? Didn't come from the Press Office - I think this sort of thing (kite flying) should be nipped in the bud. Very unprofessional, whoever was responsible.

    Closing 6Music remains a dreadful idea which I vehemently oppose, but shackling it to Radio 2, which it resembles not at all, would not benefit either 6Music listeners or Radio 2 listeners. Please embrace its distinctiveness and keep it going as it is.

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    Comment number 4.


    You state in your blog the following (in summary);

    1) All monies saved are to be reinvested in digital radio content.
    2) You are protecting some of the content by redeploying it elsewhere.
    3) You are looking into how to support new music development.

    Can I ask, in light of the above, what the point of the closure is? It is not about saving money, as it is being spent elsewhere, you are going to move content elsewhere, and you are going to support new music. Why not leave 6Music as it is and achieve all three objectives anyway? I have to say how disappointing it is to be watching the quite obvious confusion of senior management within the BBC when discussing the future of network radio.

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    Comment number 5.

    Tim, it's good to hear that you think the 2Extra plan is ridiculous. I should point out a minor grammatical error in your blog though, you state:
    "The BBC Trust are currently consulting the public on those proposals and nothing will happen _until_ after the consultation is closed."
    when I think perhaps you meant to write:
    "The BBC Trust are currently consulting the public on those proposals and nothing will happen after the consultation is closed."
    I say this because the massive public outcry, and the numerous logical arguments for keeping 6Music just as it is, that counter the spurious illogical arguments for axing it, made to the BBC Trust by licence payers, musicians and the music industry, experts from the media, MPs, and the commercial broadcasters mean that any other decision would clearly show that the BBC Trust had not listened to these people and the Consultation was just a procedural sham.


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