The search begins for new Radio 4 Controller

Friday 30 April 2010, 11:18

Tim Davie Tim Davie Director of Audio & Music

Tagged with:

BHnarrow.jpg

The advert for the job of Controller of Radio 4 is due to appear over the next few days. It's an important role - the network makes a significant contribution to the news agenda and cultural life of the nation. Like millions of listeners, Radio 4 has been part of my life for many years. When my family lived in the USA, one of my abiding memories is of evenings in deepest Connecticut listening via the internet to Today, the News Quiz or In Our Time. I realised that while I liked much of my US life, I would ultimately want to go home to the country where Radio 4 is a constant companion.

One of the outstanding characteristics of Radio 4 under Mark Damazer's leadership has been its capacity to sustain a buoyant audience without compromising the quality of its programmes. Great creative leaders like Mark have never been lured into choices between popularity and the intellectual high ground. The impressive performance of Radio 4 shows that there is a healthy appetite for intelligent speech radio: pushing our understanding of a wide range of topics, stimulating our curiosity through in-depth analysis and engaging us through passionate exploration. The recent series A History of the World in 100 Objects was not only a landmark set of popular broadcasts but has already chalked up over 2 million podcast downloads worldwide.

It is crucial that the next controller of Radio 4 continues to make brave decisions and adopts an innovative approach to programming. We will be advertising the Controller's job over the next few days and I am sure that we will have a strong list of people interested in taking up this exciting challenge.

Tim Davie is Director of Audio & Music at the BBC


Tagged with:

Comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • Comment number 1.

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

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 2.

    Dear Tim,

    Many thanks for the blog and thanks for link to the BBC usuage statistics where you rightly say Radio 4 shows an "impressive performance".

    I just did a quick calculation myself on change in % in unique listeners for all your stations during the last 12 months

    +50% = 6 Music
    +39% = Radio 4
    +33% = Asian Networl
    +9% = 1 Xtra
    -2% = Radio 2
    -13% = Radio 7
    -14% = Radio 5
    -15% = Radio 1
    -20% = Radio 3
    -44% = 5 Extra

    A 39% increase in unique listeners in a year is impressive as you say and much of the credit should go to Mark Damazer's leadership. I wish his successor all the best in continuing this trend.

    Oh, and I hope you will also view the station at the top of the list with the fastest growing listenership equally "impressive".















  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 3.

    Err ... apparently R4 has put in an impressive performance with a link to the online site usage that shows a large drop last month? Do you actually read your own statistics?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 4.

    Hi,
    We've had to remove a few comments as this thread is about finding a new controller for Radio 4.
    We'd like to keep this thread on topic and we want to encourage the senior execs to keep blogging - so we're going to be quite tough about taking down comments that are off-topic or repetitive.
    As Tim said in his post on The Future of 6 Music, there is a process and nothing will happen until the Trust has completed its consultation with the public. This ends on the 25 May.
    Please do keep commenting but ensure that you're doing it on the appropriate blogs so that your comments aren't removed.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 5.

    "Great creative leaders like Mark have never been lured into choices between popularity and the intellectual high ground".

    I am quite astounded by that statement, Tim. Your colleague Caroline Thomson was on here a few days ago talking about how important National Events such as The Proms and the World Cup are. The BBC it appears is all about popularity. Indeed, you've cited low audience-figures in the recent Strategic Review as a reason to shut down services. That in itself is indicative of your low regard for quality.

    I hope that Mark Damazer's replacement will actually have some experience in broadcasting and continue to put quality above all else. We urgently need some people at the top of the BBC hierarchy who actually know what they're doing. It's increasingly apparent that the current executive doesn't have a clue.

 

Comments 5 of 22

 

This entry is now closed for comments

Share this page

More Posts

Previous
BBC Strategy Review - Alan Yentob addresses the VLV conference

Thursday 29 April 2010, 09:14

Next
The final Prime Ministerial Debate - a press round-up

Friday 30 April 2010, 15:38

About this Blog

This blog explains what the BBC does and how it works. We link to some other blogs and online spaces inside and outside the corporation. The blog is edited by Jon Jacob.

Follow About the BBC on Twitter

Blog Updates

Stay updated with the latest posts from the blog.

Subscribe using:

What are feeds?

External links about the BBC

BBC Three online proposals set out as relaunch scheduled for autumn 2015 (Digital Spy)
"This is not moving a TV channel and putting it online. This is new. We are the first broadcaster in the world to propose something like this."

BBC Three to cut Don't Tell the Bride and other reality TV shows when channel moves online (Independent)

BBC theme park featuring Doctor Who and Top Gear set to open in 2020 (Telegraph)

JK Rowling's Cormoran Strike crime novel The Cuckoo's Calling will be turned into BBC series (Daily Mail)
"With the rich character of Cormoran Strike at their heart, these dramas will be event television across the world."

Yentob leads the BBC fightback: we're being smeared for exposing Fake Sheikh (Independent)

BBC Makes Unprecedented Counter-Attack To Sun Editorial Accusing It Of Left-Wing Bias (Huffington Post)

Serial podcast set to air on Radio 4 Extra (Radio Times)
"We know we already have tons of Serial listeners in the UK but we love that the BBC will help us reach many, many more than we ever could with podcast alone"

BBC iPlayer launches on Xbox One (Broadband TV News)

BBC ‘a great British company, not a government department’: Danny Cohen (Guardian)
"I ask you to stand by the BBC in the year ahead. Support it, make the case for it, speak up for it, celebrate its achievements and help us make sure we can keep offering such an extraordinary range of programmes for all audiences."

See Doctor Who, Miranda, more in BBC Christmas trailer (Digital Spy)

The BBC is right to point out failure on debt. Osborne is wrong to complain about it (The Spectator)

Chris Morris returns to airwaves with new sketch on BBC 6 Music on Sunday (Guardian)
"Blue Jam and On the Hour satirist’s first radio sketch in 15 years will be broadcast on Mary Anne Hobbs’ morning show"

BBC releases game maker kit for kids (Ariel)

BBC Music Sound of 2015 longlist revealed (Guardian)
"Solo artists such as James Bay, George The Poet and Raury make up most of this year’s list of musicians tipped for big things in 2015"

Why Gillian Anderson is the new Helen Mirren (Telegraph)

War and Peace to take over Radio 4: Ten-hour production of Tolstoy's novel to be broadcast on station on New Year's Day (Daily Mail)

Sherlock returns: BBC confirms special with picture of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman back filming (Mirror)

The Reith Lectures explain why doctors fail (Telegraph)
"Dr Atul Gawande delivered an excellent first lecture on the fallibility of medicine, says Gillian Reynolds"

Nine-year-old Katie Morag star on winning BAFTA award and juggling TV series with school lessons (Scottish Daily Record)

Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Same-sex couple dance received positively (Metro)

Doctor Who, Andrew Scott and Sir Ian McKellen up for BBC Audio Drama Awards 2015 (Radio Times)
"Maxine Peake, Marcus Brigstocke and Toby Jones also scoop nominations for their work in audio drama"

Last updated Thursday 11 December 2014

Blogs from across the BBC

Selected by the About the BBC Blog team.

Making radio [BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibilty]
Award-winning research [Media Action]
BBC Online Briefing Winter 2014: keynote [Internet]
Booking agents: how they can develop your act [BBC Introducing]
Introducing Emma Smith one of our new 2015 Fellows [BBC Performing Art Fund]


MatOf ThDay At 50: onic theme even has a banjo [TV]