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Thank you for your comments

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Mark Thompson Mark Thompson | 14:47 UK time, Friday, 5 March 2010

This is a short post to say, very simply, thank you. I've had a chance to catch up on your comments this morning and I am really grateful to so many of you for taking the time to get in touch.

Having set out proposals which included closing some much-loved services, I am not surprised that some of our plans have provoked a strong reaction. From what I've read, I don't see there's much I can add to what I've said previously about specific proposals linked to 6 Music or the Asian Network or what my colleagues Tim Davie and John Tate have posted over the week.

But I would like to reinforce a few points about the overall strategy - as I think it's really important people do not lose sight of the fact that our plans are about safeguarding the future of the whole BBC. Because the BBC's contribution to UK culture and society is bigger than the sum of its parts.

As a public institution we have a very clear public mission which we must fulfil to justify our existence. For us to be confident and ambitious into the digital future, we must be consistent in delivering that mission. And after a very comprehensive piece of work, I am convinced we need to make some changes to how we operate to guarantee consistency in the future. 

Whilst I believe our proposals are right, it is also absolutely right that the people who own and pay for the BBC get their say before final decisions are made. 

Now is your opportunity to get involved. The BBC Trust - our governing body - wants your input so they can take it into account when judging our proposals. We will forward your comments to the Trust, but if you really want to be heard you should also visit their site and complete the consultation

As I said in my post on Tuesday:

"My ambition is for us to become more confident and proud of the fact that we exist to be different. Our purpose is not to make money, it is to enrich people's lives by capturing the essence of Britain today and making sure everyone can access excellence in programmes and content whoever they are."

And my ambition is for the whole BBC to be held up as meeting this vision, not just bits of it.  The proposals I set out on Tuesday are just the start of an exciting new chapter for the BBC. 

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Hi,

    Please believe me, I am not trying to hound you, I am simply trying to understand. I would therefor greatly appreciate a concrete answer to a question that many are asking: what station (specifically) do expect will offer music that the average 6 Music fan would be interested in at peak times?

    Thanks,

    Bob

  • Comment number 2.

    Whilst I don't disagree with your strategy, the criteria for 6 music being closed seems very woolly and contradicts what I as a license payer thought the remit for the BBC was.

    Why does investing more money in direct competitors of commercial radio give commercial radio a break?

    Why do the like of John Tate & Tim Davie not acknowledge that 6 music is a distinct and irreplaceable publicly funded station when the likes of David Bowie, Lilly Allen & Ed O'Brien and the many listeners of 6 music quite clearly do?

    After all it's not the most expensive radio station to run now is it?

  • Comment number 3.

    Quality has got to be the overriding aim of the BBC.

    If you can save the good stuff from the stations you can't afford to run, and use it to replace the poorer shows from the stations that remain, then the only challenge that remains is to make good on your aim to improve the quality of other programming. Just promise to run in the opposite direction if you see Peter Bazalgette coming...

  • Comment number 4.

    "My ambition is for us to become more confident and proud of the fact that we exist to be different. Our purpose is not to make money, it is to enrich people's lives by capturing the essence of Britain today and making sure everyone can access excellence in programmes and content whoever they are."

    If this is the case, then you would put 6 music on FM... I dare you!

  • Comment number 5.

    You say the BBC's contribution to UK culture and society is bigger than the sum of its parts. But that contribution will be diminished if it loses those parts that are unique. Those parts that have no counterpart in the commercial sector. 6 Music is a perfect example of something that the BBC can do, that can't be replicated by a commercial company. Its output is so different to that of Radios 1 and 2, it's hard to see how these two services can take on what 6 Music is doing.

    "My ambition is for us to become more confident and proud of the fact that we exist to be different." When I look at the BBC, I find several things that are virtual clones or copies of commercial output, on TV and radio. Where the BBC is imitating the 'opposition', this is what should be cut. Where the BBC excels, whether it be a unique radio station such as 6 Music, or its coverage of the Olympics or its fantastic documentary series, this should all be preserved. Then you can legitimately say the BBC is different.

    After several days now, reading the BBC's explanations for the proposed changes, I'm beginning to wonder: what is really going on here? None of the Management arguments have been at all persuasive.

  • Comment number 6.

    "From what I've read, I don't see there's much I can add to what I've said previously about specific proposals linked to 6 Music or the Asian Network or what my colleagues Tim Davie and John Tate have posted over the week"

    Why not ? Pretty much none of the posts on these blogs querying the logic of this decision or pointing out the inconsistencies of your arguments have been answered at all.

    This review must have taken a lot of money to produce (can I ask how much ?). I presume that if it gets kicked back from the BBC Trust a lot of questions will be asked about whether yourself and Tim Davie should still be in a job. I suggest answering our questions more fully might be a good idea.

  • Comment number 7.

    "From what I've read, I don't see there's much I can add to what I've said previously about specific proposals..." How about giving a straight answer to some of the points your listeners have taken the time to raise?

  • Comment number 8.

    Good on yer for the reply and the info. The BBC's contribution to society is important, crucial but I would add that some parts are better than others and the whole is only as strong as it's weaker parts. 6 Music is by no means the weakest link.

  • Comment number 9.

    Having listened to Radio 4's Feedback today, I am disappointed with Tim Davie's response to Roger Bolton's interview. The earlier comments on Feedback from BBC 6 Music listeners were far more convincing of the need to save 6 Music - it truely enriches people's lives.

  • Comment number 10.

    While I think many points of the overall strategy & proposals have merit, I have to raise 2 points

    - Surely you had to know that listing 6 Music for closure would invoke a huge response, so I have little sympathy if you are getting frustrated that your overall message is being lost in the noise. If you'd didn't realise this, then again it shows poor understanding of what is one of your most distinctive and high quality products.

    - You mention specifics, but I've yet to hear any specific proposal that illustrates how you'll merge any 6 Music content onto Radio 1 or 2 and keep their audiences happy as well as expecting 6 music listeners to continue to listen. This is especially true for Radio 2 where you are suggesting >50% speech during the daytime, and wanting it to cater for an older audience. It simply does not compute.



  • Comment number 11.

    Thompson! Have you actually registered a word of what was written on the 300+ comments attached to your previous blog? We understand that the whole BBC is at stake, but we don't think that cutting 6music, will have any effect other than to diminish the BBC's reputation for quality broadcasting.
    Why not cut the real dross being run, and re-run on BBC3? Or even merge BBC3 and 4, with a view to reducing the bog-standard, Sky3-style output? Or what about cutting 1xtra, which currently costs more than 6, attracts less listeners, and has little more than a stripped down R+B version of the R1 playlist? Surely this would save more money, and be in keeping with your 'less for better' ethos.
    I'm sure you don't need to be reminded of how Paxman humiliated you by reading out such titles as Paws, Claws and Videotape. Do you really want to be remembered for leaving that rubbish to fester on our screens while you took away programming which people actually liked?
    You are accusing us of failing to understand the bigger picture, which can't be further from the truth. This is arrogant, patronising and a clear indication that you are out of touch with a public which deserves better. If all you have left is to treat these protests with condescension, then you do not deserve to draw 800,000 pounds of a salary taken from our licence fees.
    By the way, I've completed the form, and sent emails to srconsultation and the complaints board. But if this blog is a precursor for the way in which you will respond to criticism during the consultation period, I despair.

  • Comment number 12.

    If this is your ambition, then I find it confusing that you want to close BBC 6 Music- a station which exists solely to be different to the output of mainstream BBC and commercial radio stations. If your purpose is not to make money, then why are your supposed motives to cut 6 Music financial? Even so, the financial reasons do not appear to make any sense as the station costs a mere 0.2% of the BBC budget. It is clear from the public outcry that 6 Music is a station which enriches peoples' lives- it certainly enriches mine.

    Also, if you are wanting to be ambitious about the future of digital media, then why are you cutting digital channels? Particularly as 6 Music could actually do with being on FM radio.

    I can only hope that we, the licence fee payers get the last word on this matter.

  • Comment number 13.

    I'm sorry but you've failed to justify the decision to axe a high-quality and relatively cheap service, except in the vaguest, management-speak-ridden terms, in either of your posts. In fact, you've barely even addressed it - nor have any of your colleagues. I fail to see where this bright future you speak of is coming from; all I see is a BBC sliding into the mire of mediocrity and sub-standard programming.

    Perhaps you would consider going on Question Time on BBC1 (one of the few BBC1 programmes I have any regard for these days) to allow a live audience of intelligent license players to challenge you directly - it seems like that would be the only way for any of us to get a straight answer. This is too important an issue to be swept under the carpet.

  • Comment number 14.

    I hate to say it, Mr Thompson, but I am actually starting to feel insulted by the quality of your statements and protestations. I have yet to see any valid reason for you axing 6 Music. Nothing from you. Nothing from your colleagues. All this talk of strategies is meaningless. To constantly talk about the BBC informing, educating and entertaining whilst threatening 6 Music is just criminal.

    Firstly: "Because the BBC's contribution to UK culture and society is bigger than the sum of its parts". What of your obligation to new art? To emerging artists? To the cultural landscape? To the Creative Industries? In axing 6 Music you take away opportunities for musicians to sell records and progress in their career.

    Secondly: "My ambition is for us to become more confident and proud of the fact that we exist to be different. Our purpose is not to make money, it is to enrich people's lives by capturing the essence of Britain today and making sure everyone can access excellence in programmes and content whoever they are." 6 Music IS different. Counter-culture at its finest. It's the tonic to mainstream pap put out by commercial stations and your own Radio One. You talk of listener figures and then say that you are not concerned about making money. £9m is a small piece of the pie. Tiny compared to the overall BBC budget. We need it. It's not a big ask.

    As I have said before, in axing 6 Music, you contradict the very mission that you preach about. In terms of the cuts you need to make, there are bigger targets that represent poor value for money.

    Now, please when you respond to our comments can you make sure that you respond intelligently and rationally with evidence to back up your arguments. BBC public sector Birt-speak might serve the BBC well but it doesn't impress the paying public.

  • Comment number 15.

    Can you please tell us what radio and or music experience Tim Davie has brought to the Audio & Music department prior to becoming the head of this department?

    You have mentioned 'focusing the pop music output onto Radio 1 & 2' can you briefly address your thoughts on what 'pop' music is and why you consider Radio 6 to be a 'pop' station. If you could include a break down of the bands/artists Radio 1, 2 & 6 stations broadcast, highlighting the crossovers, this would be appreciated.

    Chris Moyles mentioned in his latest book that it makes for great 'toilet reading'; can you explain why he is paid 630,000 pounds of licence fee-payers money, whereas Adam and Joe who have created excellent and original TV alongside one of the highest rated podcasts via Radio 6 are facing the sack.

    Can you also discuss how in comparison to say radio 1 or BBC3, how Radio6 is less fulfilling of the BBCs criteria for programming that has been laid out in various reviews, concerning originality, value for money etcetera.

    Would you also be willing to appear on Radio6 for at least half an hour, preferably an hour, to answer audience & presenter questions about your decision to axe Radio 6.


  • Comment number 16.

    Hi Mark,

    Firstly, I want to say, I don't envy you. Everyone has such strong views about what the BBC should be doing, and none of them agree. I'm sure you were aware that you were going to get complaints whatever you did.

    All that said, I am strongly opposed to the decision to axe 6music, and I think it has such a strong case for existing. Personally speaking, I feel I am in a demographic very much forgotten by the BBC. I don't watch much television, maybe an hour a week, so as from my point of view, the BBC doesn't offer me very much. I have to pay the same licence fee as a large family who watches TV every night, but this is not a problem for me.

    6music has provided me with a place within the BBC where I felt I belonged. I listen to more hours in a week on 6music than I watch of BBC 1 all year, and feel a strong affinity with the station. I have heard the arguments about the BBC already 9 radio stations, and that being too much, but this holds no water for me. You can have a million radio stations that I don't want to listen to, I only care about the one I do want to listen to. You cannot simply merge bits of 6music with radios 1+2 without severely diluting what 6 was about, destroying its identity and once again marginalising us who love it (not to mention diluting what radios 1 + 2 are about). The argument that you have to axe some services to make more quality (and I'm assuming mainstream) programmes only serves to alienate me more.

    Furthermore, there does not seem to be much logic to it. Firstly, 6 is one of the cheapest services the BBC provides, so axing it really doesn't accomplish much. Secondly, if this is being done to help out the commercial sector, why are you axing stations that are NOT duplicated by them?

    I accept that this is a proposal, and not set in stone yet, so I hope you are willing to listen to the counter arguments, and take them on board. From my own point of view, I cannot justify buying a license fee if I am only watching one hour of TV a week, so I won't continue to buy one. I wouldn't want to do this though, because I think the BBC is a unique organisation, and one of the things that I am actually proud about in this country.

  • Comment number 17.

    Mark,

    Thanks for getting back. I’m very sure there are some worthwhile points in that proposal that I would probably agree with. But the problem is that there are being drowned out by the debate over your two digital radio channels. So retreating back to some vague generalisation about ‘justifying our existence’ and ‘excellence’ when you’re about to remove two of the stations that most justify why we pay a licence fee seems somewhat counter productive.

    The problem is that your arguments are being undermined at every level. Just this morning Steve Orchard, formally of GWR and the man who launched Planet Rock, stated categorically that:

    ‘Commercial radio can never replicate 6 Music’s cultural value – it’s not viable for us to do so. The commercial landscape has featured many fine rock music stations that have never made any real money – over time we water them down and gently shepherd them back towards the traditional commercial heartland. We will gain nothing from this closure yet the music industry will lose much.’

    Wasn’t that one of the central tenets of your proposal – that the audience was attractive to the commercial sector? Yet Mr Orchard has just confirmed that the station or its format could not survive as we known it in that market. Which any damn fool could have told you.

    Tim Davie now approaches from the angle that ‘some’ of the content could be relocated to Radio 1 or Radio 2. Has he fact ever listened to either of those stations? Radio 1 has been told not to allow its audience age to drift upwards, is clearly aimed at a teen market, and Radio 2 is apparently becoming more speech based (aside from already overflowing with music shows). To change them this fundamentally would require a complete service licence change. Otherwise, where does he propose to slot the many, many fine shows found on 6Music (eight hours of Marc Riley, twelve hours of Gideon Coe, The Freak Zone, Guy Garvey, Jarvis Cocker, Craig Charles, Tom Robinson amongst others). Like trying to fit a gallon into a pint pot.

    Your arguments are running out of steam. Tim was comprehensively bested on Feedback this afternoon. Why not retreat over the weekend, reconsider your options, and return to the table with a more viable way to protect the legacy of this fine Corporation.

    Geoff

  • Comment number 18.

    If your plans are about "safeguarding the future of the whole BBC", why have you decided that 6 Music and the Asian Network should be cut?
    Radio 3 has just over 2.5 times the listeners than 6 Music but costs over 5.5 times as much. Did you not consider that that was poor value for money?
    1Xtra's reach (and quality) is well below that of 6 Music and yet it remains unscathed.
    The decision cannot be qualitative rather than quantitative either - the quality of the content on 6 Music is excellent (even your sidekick Tim Davie acknowledges this).
    6 Music is an exemplary radio station and a credit to the BBC. The long term effects of your Strategy Review will be that the only music available to listeners will be the trite dumbed-down garbage that is currently peddled on Radio 1 and the commercial stations. This fare might be perfect for the average Chav but, for the more intelligent listener, is bordering on offensive.
    I sincerely hope that you listen to the many, many thousands of people who have, in various ways, tried to voice their objections to your insane proposals.

  • Comment number 19.

    And another thing! Have you read the Steve Orchard article on The Drum's website? The bit about how the closures won't benefit the commercial sector at all is quite pertinent.

  • Comment number 20.

    Dear Mr Thompson,

    I understand that your plan is to redistribute 6Music's programming and listeners across the other two 'pop' stations.
    Which BBC station will play Half Man Half Biscuit, Josh Wink and Otis Redding alongside each other during daytime, as 6Music did this morning?

    My office of six people, aged between 23 and 55, listen to 6Music, because of the number of unique tracks it plays, and the mix of genres. There's something for everyone- and we all end up hearing something new to us which we wouldn't have listened to otherwise. We used to listen to Radio 2 in the office, but it's just too repetitive. No-one needs to hear the same Alicia Keyes single 3 or 4 times a day! We bought a DAB Radio specifically to recieve this Digital only station. Will the BBC reimburse us, as this will now be redundant?

    If the music content of Radio 2 is to be reduced to 50% of output, surely there'll be less time to play extra records anyway?

    I appreciate your arguments, but you clearly misunderstand the type of music that 6Music plays. Radios 1 and 2 cannot absorb 6Music's content during the daytime without upsetting and losing their existing audiences. The only way 6Music's existing shows can be accommodated is if they're put on late at night- which isn't when we want to listen to them!

    I would like to hear our response to my specific points.

    Best wishes,

    Seb Brennan

  • Comment number 21.

    I note that nobody has responded to thank you for your comments.
    I can't think why this is the case.

  • Comment number 22.

    So in essense what you are saying is;

    Thanks for your comments, I stand by what I am saying even though it appears to be wrong and what you say is not important as I will do as I wish anyhow.

    6Music more than any other 'pop' radio station run by the BBC (in that I include R1, R2 and 1Xtra) fulfils the public service aim of the BBC while the other; R1, R2 and 1Xtra compete diectly with those commercial competitors you seem to care so much about.

  • Comment number 23.

    I have four objections, none of which have been addressed yet.

    The problem with folding Radio 6 programming back into Radio 2 is that this clashes with the simultaneously stated aim that R2 should be more closely focused on its “core”, older audience (60+). Is it possible to reconcile – for instance – the excellent breakfast shows on both channels? One plays raucous “alternative” music (punk, funk, ska, indie…) while the other, ahem, does not. No doubt R2 speaks very well to its audience: no doubt they would be as angered by hearing the Pixies over their breakfast cereal as I would be by Elaine Page! The idea that Radios 2 and 6 can be simulatneously improved by joining them together is absurd.

    Radio 6 is also – like Radio 3 – a station with musical priorities. It tends to play music made by people with serious, artistic and aesthetic intentions, not pop, produced for economic gain (think of Simon Cowell’s output if you don’t know what I mean by that). It has several shows devoted to in-depth explorations of particular genres (the Craig Charles Funk and Soul show, for instance) and which no doubt play a huge part in supporting the musical scenes in those (uncommercial) genres. The Freak Zone is another show, playing avowedly “serious” or “difficult” music which never gets an airing elsewhere.

    Thirdly, considering the very small proportion of listeners who have DAB, Radio 6 has a very considerable reach – 690,000 out of 6m – about 10%! This excellent figure suggests that the problem is not with the station, but with the way it is promoted, Why are BBC TV viewers not directed towards it? Why do Radio 1 and Radio 2 not direct their listeners to it? The current furore surely shows just how well-loved Radio 6 is by its listeners: why not respond to the low listenership by moving it onto FM, and seeing what happens? Who knows, it might swiftly become the most listened-to music station in the country.

    My final point is that it is not a listenership that is served by the commercial sector. Xfm just does not have the breadth that Radio 6 has and, frankly, isn’t very good at what it tries to do.

  • Comment number 24.

    The question is simple, and has not been addresses by yourself or Tim Davie.

    How does dismantling a small low-cost service (which you yourselves acknowledge as a beacon of excellence) constitute "Putting Quality First" ?

    If Tim Davie believes 9 channels of radio is too many he might just as well take Radio 3 off air and distribute its best bits across Radios 2 and 4. That too would give the commercial sector (ie Classic FM) a bit of a breather. But it would be a nonsense, and so is scrapping 6 Music.

    You are in charge of the world's greatest public service broadcaster and there is no public demand for a narrower choice of music provided by the BBC - quite the reverse. It takes a strong leader to be able to admit he has got something wrong - please have the good grace to pay serious attention to what the public are telling you - and reconsider the wisdom of this decision.

  • Comment number 25.

    I appreciate the considered response to the huge campaign getting behind 6 music, which I suspect will only grow from here. Within your post you claim:

    "the BBC's contribution to UK culture and society is bigger than the sum of its parts."

    This is true, but the BBC's unique position means that it should be able to preserve the services that struggle under commercial pressure, rather than close them. For example, there are many stations that can easily be seen as identical to Radio 1 (Absolute Radio, Galaxy, XFM... ), so why does the BBC choose to close the service that is unique (6 Music), rather than a far more expensive one which can easily be replaced by commercial competitors (Radio 1)?

  • Comment number 26.

    Dear Mark,

    Forgive me for saying this, but how are you say that you're trying to "save" the BBC, while you're actually doing is destroying it by getting rid of two radio stations and reducing the BBC website itself by half. Also, I can't believe that you have the arrogance to say that we don't know what is really happening.

    You are absolutely pathetic!!!

  • Comment number 27.

    Hi Mark,

    First off, thanks for writing. It's good that we can have some sort of dialogue over this. By now it seems pretty clear that by far the biggest bone of contention over these cuts rests with the proposed axing of 6music. I understand that there is a bigger picture here but I also feel that this strategy is very fluffy and ill conceived when it comes to the 6music question. I'm afraid I can't speak about The Asian Network as I know nothing about it.

    You (and Tim Davie) seem to have backed away from the whole commercial competition argument as regards 6music. Would you now concede that 6music offers no threat to the commercial sector? I read this earlier which seems to back up what 6music listeners and music industry experts know http://www.thedrum.co.uk/news/2010/03/05/13011-radio-boss-commercial-sector-will-gain-nothing-from-6-music-closure

    On your point of listener figures when will you be releasing the numbers for the period up to the end of March? We all know that there is going to be a massive spike in the 6music audience and I also don't doubt that it will settle again at a point a lot higher than before the controversy began. Anecdotal evidence suggests that those that try 6music like it and stay. This then I believe will counter your argument of the station costing too much to run/too much per listener.

    If we're limiting this discussion to that of saving money in the radio sector (which it must be said is generally more important to license fee payers than TV) then why has 1xtra not been put up for the chop on the grounds that:
    a)Radio1 and the BBC already has that audience covered
    b)It costs more per listener to run than 6
    c)It competes with the commercial sector in two ways: you can go to any town in the UK and find a local radio station playing the same output and it is by its very nature a mainstream network

    6music is completely and utterly unique, nothing else exists like it on the airwaves.

    Putting out the 'best' of its programming (god knows what that is, it's all brilliant) to other networks isn't going to work either.

    The differences between Radios 1 & 2 and 6music are measured in light years, look at comparemyradio.com if you don't believe me. It's going to take a seismic shift to get anywhere near replicating the output of 6music on those stations.

    http://comparemyradio.com/compare/BBC_Radio_2/BBC_6_Music
    http://comparemyradio.com/compare/BBC_Radio_1/BBC_6_Music

    Also there's this rather confused vision of making Radio 2 50% spoken word in the daytime while also appealing more to a 65+ audience. I know I speak for a lot of the 6music audience when I say we'll never listen to Radios 1 & 2 - we're too old for 1 and too young for 2. My Dad listens to Radio 2 because he likes a bit of Steve Wright and the other old has beens populating it, no way will I be doing the same.

    You see the thing is that a huge amount of the 6music listener base tune in while they're working, which is pretty much always in the daytime. And the daytime to early evening lineup at 6 is not much short of brilliant. Fantastic music brought to us by intelligent, witty and knowledgeable presenters who we identify with. What are we supposed to do in the daytime now while generic pop is piped down through Radio 1 and some bloke's wittering on about the price of fish on Radio 2 before introducing a Dire Straits record. It just plainly is not going to work.

    As for Radio1, what will happen to the legions who listen to that if you start to tinker with them and play anything other than The Killers, the latest generic vocodery RnB track by whoever or that new one by the bloke off X Factor.

    You gave us a wonderful, unique gift with 6music, one that is revered by music lovers in the UK and around the world. Please do the right thing and let us keep it.

    It has the world at its feet with the current changes in the music biz (shift towards smaller independent labels, gigs and live sessions) and has the ability to lead the field for the BBC. With the decision to axe it you are regressing massively and making an enormous mistake. The BBC has proven there is a place for 6music, I believe it must stay.

    If you axe 6music the BBC loses me and my license fee. While that may sound like a threat it's just a statement of fact, 6music is the only thing that my license fee extracts any value from.

    I should shut up now and let someone else have a turn.

  • Comment number 28.

    You say that the BBC has to 'justify its existence' - you are providing a wonderful, unique, intelligent, entertaining and inspirational radio station that many, many people love...and as people have said over & over again here, it's not a service offered by any other mainstream station, BBC or otherwise. What more justification do you need?

    We are your listeners, your audience, your fans, your sounding board. We are telling you want we want more of and you need to listen!

  • Comment number 29.

    "My ambition is for us to become more confident and proud of the fact that we exist to be different."

    And yet you close two digital stations that are confident and proud and different.

    Confused and muddled leadership at best. Bare-faced hypocricy at worst.

  • Comment number 30.

    Mark, if you want to safeguard the BBC you need to take a long, hard look at the utter crap that BBC TV has taken to broadcasting in recent years. Virtually EVERYTHING on BBC3 is appallingly made, crude, chav-like and an insult to the intelligence of the majority of BBC viewers. The drivel that passes for comedy on prime time TV - The Persuasionists is one recent commission that absolutely tanked and further brought the reputation of the BBC for nurturing comedy into disrepute.

    You also need to cap the salaries of your employees and "stars" - that includes you. You earn more than the President of the United States of America! It's completely inappropriate for you to earn such an enormous sum when it's being paid for by the British public. But i'm not going to single you out. Chris Moyles, Jonathan Ross, Chris Evans - they are all vastly overpaid and the public have made their feelings known on this subject, yet the BBC ignore us.

    Finally, please stop massaging the statistics and outright lying about the reach, listenership and cost per listener of 6music. The raw data is publicly available, meaning we can easily look at your nice graphs and tables charting the cost and listener figures of BBC radio and instantly cast them aside as nonsense - statistics massaged to suit YOUR agenda.

  • Comment number 31.


    When I read in the blog about "the BBC's contribution to UK culture", I wonder if Mark truly realises how many new musicians and artists now depend on 6 Music. This is turn has an impact on smaller music venues and labels. These are key areas of our economy, which feed up to the bigger picture and keep the UK at the forefront of musical culture. Take 6 Music away, and this will slowly but surely change.

    Oh and 6 Music are playing Husker Du at 1728. That should be enough reason to keep it!

  • Comment number 32.

    Mark, thanks for getting one of your underlings to write and post this.

    But you haven't really answered any of the fundamental questions:

    - Why did the review say that 6music was not value for money without any supporting evidence or justification? Indeed it did not even mention how much the station costs. What is an appropriate level of value for money? How do other stations score on the same metric? How does BBC3 compare to 6music on the same like-for-like measure?

    - Under the current BBC Agreement services have to be subject to a Public Value Test before being launched or closed. Why has there been a decision to close 6music without a public value test? If cost is the only criterion used for making the decision to close 6music then the whole concept and framework for public value should be scrapped.

    - If the aim is to save money why does the review say little about taking measures (such as sacking the people responsible) who have caused the BBC to waste a hundred million (on your own admission) on the rebuilding of Broadcasting House?

  • Comment number 33.

    Mark I agree with everything you've said..... nah not really, I am with the masses on this one. I'd love 6Music to be released on FM for a 6 month trial period and see it eat away at the tied "listen to me talking about myself" DJ approach of Radio1 and 2.
    The most frustrating thing about driving/working during the day is not being able to find a decent radio station to listen to, I bought 3 Dab radio's on the strength of 6Music will you offer to refund the cost of these if the closure go's ahead as I listen to nothing else on them.
    Regards and do the right thing please.
    P.S. cost is about £150

  • Comment number 34.

    On Friday 12 March the BBC3 evening schedule is: World's Toughest Driving Tests, Stag Weekends: The Dirty Secrets, Eastenders, Snog Marry Avoid and Hotter than my Daughter.

    Meanwhile on Radio 6 there is Steve Lamacq, Tom Robinson, Bruce Dickinson and a couple of archive concerts.

    I'm looking for excellence, distinctiveness and enrichment. Which of the two would I better tuning into do you think?

  • Comment number 35.

    Oh yes, and also every single programme on BBC3 for the entire 24 hours is a repeat. This is what we are losing R6 for? My brain cannot compute this level of absurdity.

  • Comment number 36.

    All these wonderful comments by intelligent, passionate, and above all reasonable people. You don't even have to be a fan of 6 music for instance, to see that this whole debacle is blowing up in your face... Page upon page of well thought out argument, giving facts, figures and explicit reasons why these proposals are wrong. Meanwhile you tout meaningless management speak, contradicting yourself time and time again...

    I bet the BBC Trust wishes it's managers, (and you Sir in particular) were as articulate, rational and, ultimately... employable?

  • Comment number 37.

    BBC 6 music has been the very epitomie of developing original high quality music on the radio in this country for many years now. It is a shinning example of what the BBC does very well and is the last word when it comes to cultral diversirty on radio in this country. I and thousands of others can not equate the priorities set out in the review and the closer of 6 music. I also can see how you can justify keeping Radio1 extra and close 6 music???? The content on 1 extra has a natural home on Radio1 but 6 music is so distinct that it has no other natural home. The content that is on 6 music is not served by other commercial providers so this is where the BBC should be, closing 6 music would be a huge retrograde step for the BBC.

  • Comment number 38.

    We love 6 music. Absolutely enjoy the company of the radio station when we do our sunday lunches, painting the walls...

    That's why we launched the website http://www.helpsave6music.com to start the Earmuff Campaign to have our voices heard that "we don't want to hear anything else".

    Please please take part and upload your photos with hands over ears in protest. Go to "the gallery" page to see what other people are doing.

    Tell as many people as possible. Together we can do it!

    http://www.helpsave6music.com/

  • Comment number 39.

    Hello.

    I really cannot grasp why on earth you believe that to close 6 music is a good idea.

    This proposal totally contradicts what you say you stand for, or have I got that wrong?

    I cannot fathom any 'reasoning' behind this and would really appreciate some answers... that I can understand.

    BBC 6 Music is a station you should be bloody proud of!

  • Comment number 40.

    Dear Mr Thompson,

    I was deeply saddened by your proposal to close 6 Music. It was a real low point for many reasons, mainly because by doing this you seem to be completely contradicting everything you say you're trying to achieve through these cuts. 6 Music is probably the best example the BBC has of innovative, quality programming that is head and shoulders above not only your competitors but also any other radio station you have in the BBC.
    Your comments that it could be replaced by Radio 1 and 2 tweaking their services to accommodate what 6 Music has to offer are ludicrous, we went to 6 Music to get away from those stations. Please don't force us back to a handful of 'specialist music' shows. Those comments are obviously made by someone who has never listened to 6 Music and has no idea of the purpose it serves. It has been responsible for nurturing new music in a manner that you obviously could never comprehend. There are very few outlets for it outside of 6 Music.
    If you want to slim down and create more quality for less, I seriously think you should look at cutting BBC4 and 1Xtra. I like what BBC4 has to offer but it is constantly repeating its programmes and 1Xtra's remit is already covered by Radio 1.
    I really hope you are not successful with the 6 Music proposal because you'll dumb down the BBC and leave a lot of people wondering why they pay the license fee, because you're offering less and less both on the television and radio to people like me.

  • Comment number 41.

    Mr Thompson, you should show some guts and face the 6Music audience.
    You should arrange an hour one evening on the excellent Gideon Coe show where callers can speak to you and you can explain such things as how exactly Radio 1 and 2 will absorb the 6Music output. I think a lot of us have questions that you've thus far dodged.

    We know that you tell the trust to omit the 6Music proposal anytime you want.

  • Comment number 42.

    i really dont get this. the bbc is about distinctive quality broadcasting; about broadcasting that can't or won't be produced by the comercial sector. That is exactly what 6music is. It represents good value per listener, and has no comparable comercial station. going by stats on compare my radio 95 percent of the tracks played on 6 music in the last month were not played on radio one. (about 94 percent weren't played on radio two either) from stats like that its pretty clear stations can't be merged. the comercial sector has never even tried to produce anything comparable so its not stepping on toes of comercial competitors.
    6musics listeners are going up at a time when most radio listeners are dropping. this decision really doesn't make sense, unless its an attempt to motivate a mass campaign against bbc cuts. If its a small sacrifice to satisfy the BBC's enemies it won't work, if murdoch and his buddies smell blood they will want more.

  • Comment number 43.

    I can't help notice what that the "strategy" document says this about moving to High Definition TV:

    Page 13 mentions Freeview HD in passing, page 24 says "high definition television is growing", page 48 mentions DVB-T2's ability to deliver HD, page 61 mentions Freeview HD again in passing.

    And that's it.

  • Comment number 44.

    Mark,

    I'm very disappointed with your comments above as you have not taken the opportunity to answer many of the intelligent arguments put by the listeners. You say, 'it is absolutely right that the people who own and pay for the BBC get their say before final decisions are made'. But will you listen to the people who own and pay for the BBC? I suspect that the decision has already been made. I am not sure whether you have ever listened to BBC6 music or whether anyone you know does. No other radio station gets close to offering the same choice of music. I had given up on radio until I acquired a car with DAB, its quite simply brilliant and in such contrast to R1 and R2.

    I sincerely hope that you take the time and trouble to read fully the comments on your blog and to consider the possibility that they are right and you are wrong.

  • Comment number 45.

    Mr Thompson, you stated "We want the BBC to become the most open and responsive public institution in the UK".

    We, the licence fee payers, funders of the BBC, the people that keep you in a job, want direct answers to specific questions regarding your decision to close 6 Music.

    As an "open and responsive" organisation it should not be a problem to set up a live Q&A programme on one of the BBC Radio stations. I look forward to your response on this suggestion.

  • Comment number 46.

    Mark, thank you for your comments. But thank you more for your appearance on Newsnight earlier in the week. I was laughing almost as hard at your misfortune as Kelvin McKenzie was in the background. Did you really think your argument would hold water against a competent questioner?

  • Comment number 47.

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

  • Comment number 48.

    BBC 6music is simply the finest radio station around and to attempt to filter it into Radio 1 & 2 seems unthinkable. It is clear from even a quick listen to all three that this would lead to a dilution and eventual disappearance of a wonderful love of music that permeates every show, and the distinctive spirit of the station.
    The fans are devoted for a reason: we don't get this anywhere else. There was an argument on Newsnight that we are a very small number (growing now, I'm very very sure) and only interested in 6music. So does this assumption, this generalisation, mean our opinions, and more importantly our license fees, do not count for anything? Surely not. Surely this should mean that this relatively low cost service is even more valuable.
    I hope that the BBC Trust do request a rethink of the strategic review, and I hope that you will consider us then, in light of what I would have to term 'new evidence'.
    Thanks.

  • Comment number 49.

    I was quite depressed by Mark Thompson's self-serving nonsense - he completely failed to engage on points of substance and instead resorted to tedious management-speak.

    But then this cheered me up immensely:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/mediamonkeyblog/2010/mar/05/mark-thompson-6-music

  • Comment number 50.

    Would Mark Thompson be willing to do a radio and telvision programme with an audience of 6 music fans in a Question Time/Any Questions format?

  • Comment number 51.

    I'm really confused. I've read the stuff on the strategy review consultation site about the BBC's principles and objectives and it all seems pretty sensible. The BBC should be making niche non-mainstream culture and ideas accessible to wide audiences because there's no way its commercial competitors would do so. It has a Reithian mission to educate and enlighten. And yet it is also proposing to close 6 Music, a station that embodies these principles and has absolutely no parallel in the commercial sector. I've read all the BBC statements that have been put out since the changes were made public and have found absolutely no justification for this closure beyond a vague hand-wavy argument along the lines of "oh well, there's already two pop music radio stations, I'm sure there'll be room on there somewhere for that weird John Peel type stuff". Mr Thompson please, take two and a half hours time out and just listen to Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone and then tell us where else on the planet this kind of programming is available. A bad mistake has been made here, and I suspect you might know it.

  • Comment number 52.

    In case the earlier link doesn't work, here is a Youtube link for Mark Thompson (annual salary: 850,000 pounds) taking his rightful and deserved place as a national laughing stock. It deserves to go viral.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0zNDhhPkSk

  • Comment number 53.

    For me, the BBC is 6 Music. The rest of it I can take or leave (and find elsewhere). I would be happy to pay the licence fee for 6 Music alone. Without it, I would feel completely ripped-off and marginalised by the beeb.

  • Comment number 54.

    Am slightly confused with the decision to pull the plug on 6 Music.
    6 Music's budget is £9m with an audience of about 1m whilst Radio 3 has a budget of just over £50m with an audience of just 2m. Surely it would make more sense to shave or make cuts on all stations so that they are proportionate to its audience

  • Comment number 55.

    I challenge you and any BBC colleague who agrees with your views on BBC 6music outlined in the strategy review to appear on a TV/radio panel discussion with or without an audience. Your appearances in the media on the day of the release of the policy review involved only yourself and the interviewer. It’s interesting to note that when interviewed by Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight that you left the studio as the debate continued with the other guests. Why did this happen? Chauffeured car to meet?

  • Comment number 56.

    closing 6music can only weaken the 'public mission', the cuts are being made in the wrong place

  • Comment number 57.

    The proposal to close bbc6 music is an affront to anybody interested in listening to quality and thought provoking music/radio programmes/DJs. As a UK resident proud of their musical heritage, this proposal goes against everything we should treasure - a small nation, leading by example in its diverse musical output. BBC6 music is THE only radio station that provides a true stepping stone for young musicians and also provides the listener with the opportunity to listen to aspiring and established musicians producing cutting edge, innovative, thought provoking, quality music.

    This proposal is an affront to the memory of John Peel and also a huge step backwards in how innovative quality music is not only broadcast in the UK, but also how we the UK - as world leaders in producing high quality recorded music - is portrayed not only nationally but also globally. How you can reach such a conclusion is beyond comprehension.

  • Comment number 58.

    You say...
    My ambition is for us to become more confident and proud of the fact that we exist to be different.
    Well, 6music had the highest variety of any music station (www.comparemyradio.com). It is growing faster than any BBC station when radio as a whole is in retreat. If you don't have confidence in such success, your words are meaningless cant.

    You say
    Our purpose is not to make money,
    This is disingenous. Making money is an honourable purpose and the basis of the modern liberal democracy that the BBC is presumably in favour of. You have worked in the commercial sector and so presumably know something of the pressures and disciplines (even in a creative field) it requires. Money is ultimately just a way of keeping score to ensure proper use of resources and fairness. If the BBC wastes money, it is not fair. Your proposals just sound like doing less with the same or more; this is not good management.

    You say
    it is to enrich people's lives by capturing the essence of Britain today and making sure everyone can access excellence in programmes and content whoever they are

    6 Music demonstrated excellence through its many awards. If everyone should have access to excellence, why is 6 music not available on FM? Local radio is dying, kill it off, syndicate 6 on the breakfast and drivetime shows. Or give up some of the R1/2/3/4 frequencies ... radios are much more sensitive now, DAB is easily available so having a perfect FM RDS hand-off is no longer important for the minority making long distance journeys.

    You will have to backtrack on this cultural vandalism; maybe you had that as plan B all along but if so you should have shown a better sense of humour when being interviewed - perhaps you should have offered to box Joe with your Joy Division Oven Gloves.

  • Comment number 59.

    Hi,

    I have read the strategy it states that the BBC should try create quality programing and give value for money. I would very much like an explanation of how closing six music, whose output is of the highest quality at minimum expense, achieves these stated goals?

    It appears to me that this decision is simply destructive, you are thoughtlessly destroying quality output in an attempt to quieten your critics.

    Simon

  • Comment number 60.

    Mark, Your ethos in the stategy review can only be universally accepted, we all want more quality programs at a cheaper cost. Yet the mechanisms to execute these have been illogically and bizarely proposed.

    You have made no proposal as to how myself and my fellow 25-45 year old fellow listeners will be catered for. There has been a range of "options" discussed in the media by you and your colleagues as to how this might be done. I dismiss the proposal that 6 Musics content could be catered for by Radio one and two (Radio 2 needs to be appealing more to the over 65's ???? Just how the hell will that work)

    I am totally fed up with your constant overlooking of the "comparison" argument. 6 Music costs less than Radio 3, and a few others. So Why not make cutbacks here ? You need to justify why 6 Music deserves to be axed in favour of BBC 3/4 Radio 7. You cant, and you know it.

    I fear for you that this proposal is a horrendous mistake, and that you have opened a can of worms which will ultimately cost you your job (£850,000)

  • Comment number 61.

    I fully understand and infact support the need to for the BBC to review its content and output. However I'm yet to see how even if 6Music is closed its fantastic, eclectic and uninhibited content could be incorporated onto another station. Aside from the fact that it would return us to skulking around the fringes of the schedule like vagrants, as in the days of John Peel, when you had to be awake in the middle of the night to hear good music presented by a modest and knowledgable host, If Adam and Joe were on Radio2, or Radio1, would they still have 3 free choices per hour (not enough as it is), and a 6 music style playlist and reportoire? Would Lauren Laverne have 5 music guests a week and the whole of the BBC session archive to choose from? Or would it just be Adam and Joe, one Radio2, or worse still, Radio1, with the musical tripe that goes along with that?

    It would also remove the liberating feeling of being able to turn the radio on at any time, and be entertained, treated as an adult and discover great music. It seems to me 6Music's biggest handicap is not that it is only available on digital, but that it must be linked to Radio1 and 2 under the label 'Pop Music'.

    Frankly, it isn't. 6 Music's weakest points are the aspects it shares with Radio 1 and 2, a sometimes intrusive playlist for example. It really should be under the control of the Radio4, or Radio3 controller, if not its own controller. As the 6Music message board shows, alot of listeners go to Radio4 when there's something on 6 they don't like, not 2, and certainly not 1. I know you'll be hearing this a lot and you probably imagine its rhetoric, but its unlikely that I (and others) are going to be willing to grovel round a radio station that pumps out pussycat dolls, JLS, Rihanna, U2 and Coldplay in the hopes that maybe MArc Riley has been allowed an hour at 10pm on a thursday. It must seem to the BBC management that we're taking this rather personally. But until 2002 we just didn't know what it was like to have a radio station playing good varied music, not presented by glib vacuous 'peronalities', or Vernon Kay. But then the BBC showed us! And it was great!

    Listening to, and reading through all the arguments from yourself and Tim Davie over the last couple of days this decision still doesn't make sense to me. The impression i get is neither of you listen to 6 Music, or if you do, you're maybe not interested/knowledgeable enough about the umbrella we seem to be calling 'pop music' to understand what sets it so very far apart from Radio1, Radio2 and indeed, XFM, Kerrang, Planet Rock etc...

    Let me put it this way. I'm not a huge classical music fan. To me, Classic FM sounds more or less like Radio 3. But people i know who are Classical music enthusiasts tell me i couldn't be further from the truth, they tell me it brings them things Classic FM never could, and with out spending hundreds of pounds a week on the best CDs, they couldn't get elsewhere. And i believe them, because they know their stuff and worth mentioning here Radio 3 costs alot more to run per listener, and only has alittle more than twice as many listeners, and the numbers are not climbing at 12% a year.

    Please believe we're not resisting change for the sake of it, we know our stuff, and we're trying to tell you (the BBC) that 6 Music programs can't just be slotted in elsewhere, because the fact that they are all in one place, on 6 Music, where they belong with the freedoms they need to be what they are, is what makes them so great in the first place. You couldn't put talk Sports content on Radio 4, because they're not the same, despite them both being spoken word.

    I hope the BBC sees the light on this, because one day everyone will have digital radios, and when they do, you will have the hottest property in town. You want to invest in the future of the BBC, its 6Music, plain and simple.

    PS. Have the BBC considered having a policy of no 'talent' get paid more than 1Million, (which is still WAY too much but i know some people actually like Clarkson and Robinson, so i'm willing to be open minded) its a good wage in a recession crippled economy, and if they want more, they can go elsewhere, i reckon that move would fund 6 Music on its own.

  • Comment number 62.

    The proposed closure of BBC 6music is a huge mistake. This station is representative of exactly what the BBC should stand for, ie. well-informed, high-quality, unique content that is not duplicated anywhere in the commercial sector.
    The proposed closure is a contradiction of the core values that the BBC should stand for and a contradiction of all that has made the BBC the most respected broadcaster in the world. To close this station would be indicative of a lack of imagination and foresight on the part of the BBC Management and Trust and would be a huge disappointment to the many thousands of ardent fans of the station and leave them with the notion that the BBC no longer cares for quality broadcasting or listens to its audience. This argument applies equally to all BBC content that is of high-quality, original and unique.

  • Comment number 63.

    It's fascinating watching the BBC spin train derail itself. It resembles, if anything, a rather sub-standard version of the North Korean Propaganda Ministry - spewing out the party line in the face of reasoned argument and facts that unfortunately contradict the glib assertions of the nodding donkeys in expensive suits.

    The closure of two radio stations is the thin end of a pernicious wedge; denying choice and potentially, as well argued above, undermining the commercial broadcasters whose plight many crocodile tears are shed over. Given that you, Mr Thompson, take home significantly more in a year than some people can earn in a liftime, and have presided over debacles such as the Ross/Brand affair and the current building cost over-run, is it too much to expect any form of contrition? Probably.

    I am a consumer of BBC services - Radios Scotland, 3, 4 and 6 Music - as well as television (apart from BBC3 - recent publicity suggests that I haven't missed much). I have control over what I engage with - Sundays are enriched by the Freak Zone and Words and Music for example - but in your eyes this makes me less valuable than a "yoof" targeted by BBC3 or 1Xtra as I have the power of choice. To lose 6 Music, which is as far removed from a "pop" format as it is possible to be, would be an act of philistinism on a par with some of the more repugnant proposals of Broadcasting in the Seventies or the Producer Choice regime implemented in the 1990s.

    You claim to be leading the BBC forward to a new and exciting future - but are in the process of losing copious amounts of goodwill and support by attacking services that the Corporation is placed to deliver. You should consider where the commercial sector could do better - for example Radio 1 and BBC3 - and have the courage to accept that there may be benefits to providing high-quality, original and unique programming that does not descend to the lowest common denominator. You should consider that many of us value Radio far more than television.

    I think that you and Mr Davie are misguided. Your patronising attitude to those who have complained, and your reluctance to consider that a 10% reach (in the case of 6 Music) on a station that creates appointment listening might make it valuable - when the commercial sector will clearly not replicate its breadth, eclecticism - is a mystery.

    In the words of someone more truculent than I, "In the name of God, go."

  • Comment number 64.

    Hi Mark,

    You are a broadcaster at heart and during your time in television production you presided over fantastic groundbreaking series like 'Modern Times'. I'm sure that if you immersed yourself in BBC 6 Music as many of us have done you would recognise it as a distinctive and inspirational broadcasting gem, everything the BBC aspires to.

    I'm not so sure about your colleague Tim Davie, however, his comments this week have been shallow and have betrayed his background as the seller of Pepsi-Cola across Europe, with talk of 're-branding' and 'market consolidation'. He is not a broadcaster and I suspect would not recognise a piece of quality broadcasting if he tripped over it in the street. When he says glibly that he "cares about the output of 6 Music", I'm sorry - but I don't believe him

    I cannot believe that you are seriously considering driving the many thousands of license payers who have voiced dismay this week away from the BBC. You gave us something in 6 Music we have craved for and something we could not get anywhere else. The depth of feeling expressed on this page shows it is not some soft drinks carton to be discarded as part of a marketing whim.

  • Comment number 65.

    Hi Mark,

    Whilst it is a truism that those opposed to a proposition will always produce more commentry than those who support it, I cannot but help notice that posts on this blog from both you and Mr. Davie on the strategic review are yet to generate a _single comment_ that supports the closure of 6 Music.

    I would therefore put to you a straight question, and would appreciate a straight answer. Is there a point, before the end of the 12 week consultation period, that the proposed review will be forced to conclude that the closure of 6 Music will not pass consultation and need to be reconsidered?

    Believe it or not, I am actually more or less in favour of the proposed review, with the exception of the 6 Music closure (I am forced to abstain from the discussion regarding the Asian Network, and teenage content, as I have no exposure to either). In particular, I welcome the reduction of the BBC's online content. I would therefore appreciate the chance to comment on an updated report with the 6 Music closure removed as soon as possible, rather than have to wait the full 12 weeks for a new report with this (inevitable, as I now see it) amendment, which would presumably need to go through another consultation period.

    Thanks,

    Bob.

  • Comment number 66.

    Existing to be different, enriching people's lives, not motivated primarily by making money, allowing access to excellence in programmes and content....aren't these all qualities which 6Music has in adundance?

    Others have made the comaprison between Radio 3 and 6Music, suggesting that there is a much greater similarity in ethos between these two stations than there is between 6Music and Radios 1 and 2. Yet Radio 3 is now - quite rightly - considered sacrosanct, whilst 6Music is to be abandoned. What a good thing that Radio 3's predecessor, the Third Programme, wasn't similarly killed off in the mid-1950s. Give 6Music the support that the Third Programme was given to grow beyond its early years, and it will reward the the BBC and its listeners handsomely in decades to come.

  • Comment number 67.

    Mark Thompson still hasn't addressed the fact that BBC3 costs 13 times what 6music costs and yet produces a tiny fraction of its public value.

    What Mark Thompson says: "Quality is our raison d'être."

    What BBC3 shows: I Believe in UFOs - Danny Dyer goes on a quest to spot a UFO. Danny examines reported UFO landing sites and the sinister evidence that aliens may have been conducting scientific experiments here in Britain.

  • Comment number 68.

    It is hard to add much to the plethora of other comments - surely so many people cannot all be wrong.

    "My ambition is for us to become more confident and proud of the fact that we exist to be different. Our purpose is not to make money, it is to enrich people's lives by capturing the essence of Britain today and making sure everyone can access excellence in programmes and content whoever they are."

    Seems like the very essence of a mission statement for BBC6music.... I wonder if all the other BBC services could say the same, including some of those not due to be axed (BCC3 springs to mind)

    Just where , precisely, will current BC6music listeners find the sort of output, programming and ethos they currently enjoy? Not elsewhere on the BBC stations (especially with a vacuum of information about how this might be addressed post BBC6music) and most definitely not on commercial stations - ergo one of the truly different and distinctive BBC outputs will be thrown away - hows that for delivering the new strategy?

  • Comment number 69.

    Mark

    I think the arguments about 6 Music have been well made; I don't intend to expand on them per se and trust you understand the mistake in the review here.

    I do want to comment though on the wider topic that the BBC considers that commercial radio plays the lead role in delivering popular music to 35 to 50 year olds. It seems that this is coda for saying that the BBC should retreat from this demographic.

    Radio 2, which I listen to more than any other station, it seems is to attract an older audience (I am 47), be more speech led, bring in more comedy and help encourage older people with technology.

    Much has been made how the commercial sector will struggle to provide an alternative to 6 Music; it is not an alternative either to Radio 2. Commercial Radio in the UK has been experimental at the outset but the lax regulatory environment means that programming is reduced to repetitive "niche" playlists and undistinctive presenters. This is not an environment into which you can send BBC licence payers who expect access to high quality radio services. Your own involvement with Channel 4 Radio will highlight to you the lack of PSB quality commercial radio out there, and indeed the challenge to the commercial sector of providing it.

    And commercial radio is patchy... one comment on Tim Davie's blog asked what exactly rural 6 Music listeners in mid-Wales were expected to tune into. There is only one commmercial national popular music station and it broadcasts on AM!

    Television does have PSB quality alternatives; Channel 4 does a good job in showcasing the best US television, although the BBC should not withdraw from foreign markets altogether... who else would show Swedish "Wallander" or French "Spiral"? The review steers very clear of the more populist programming, but the BBC could withdraw from all the property and reality shows from daytime TV and provide something alternative. Sky News and Sky Arts also provide quality commercial services akin to those we used to value from ITV.

    But radio doesn't have that alternative choice. And when you finish the review, the BBC must be about a full range of programming for everybody, nor demographic niches, because there is nowhere else for us to go.

  • Comment number 70.

    So despite having a 'consultation' with the public about how you spend their license fee money, you have taken upon yourself along with the 'tow the line' members of Tate and Davie to axe 6 music.

    I have stated my argument on your previous blog, now I will keep it short and sweet.
    6 music is a station that ticks all the boxes for what the BBC should stand for.
    * Quality broadcasting
    * Unique broadcasting unequaled and without competing with other commercial stations
    * Diverse demographic of listeners that are not of any particular age, gender, race, religion or class. They all just love great music.
    * Value for money, despite it's alleged small listenership of 700,000 the number of devotees is increasing each year, The BBC has not done a good job of advertising the station and by having it only broadcast on digital format the % of population that are able to sample 6 music is dramatically reduced. If 6 were an analogue station the £6-9 Million spent on it a year would be of astounding value.

    So don't be ashamed to back down, we won't think any less of you.
    Please re-think your ideas and save 6 music.

    Kestr Hoefkens,
    Hertfordshire.

  • Comment number 71.

    I can only conclude that you know perfectly well that there's no adequate rationale for the proposal to close 6Music and the Asian Network. Sigh. I hope its chess with the Tories, not foolhardiness. Off to have another go at the consultation now...

  • Comment number 72.

    "The strategy we outlined yesterday focuses the BBC on putting quality programming first, with a smaller and more focused BBC that does fewer things better, leaving space for others with clearer limits. And we'll focus on areas that build overall public value, and that are most at risk of being ignored or under-invested in elsewhere. "

    As has been said elsewhere on this blog and in the media, 6 Music content is simply not going to be replicated by the commercial sector. Stations like Kerrang, XFM and NME may begin with a commitment to variety and music, but in the end turn into more 'populist' indie stations playing a static playlist on repeat.
    The variety of 6 Music should be maintained on its own without needing to change Radio's 1 and 2. These stations arguably have much less unique audiences than 6 Music ever will.
    Diluting Radio 1 and 2 into something more obscure will only cause the public to complain that "BBC Radio doesn't produce anything I like to listen to."
    For the savings to be made, it's not worth it!

  • Comment number 73.

    Dear Mr Thompson,

    I find it beyond belief that you have failed to answer any of our questions regarding the huge gaping holes and contradictions in your initial arguments for closing down 6Music and the Asian Network.

    You say above:

    "From what I've read, I don't see there's much I can add to what I've said previously"

    How about starting by at least acknowledging the questions we've put forward to you? And then, maybe, actually attempting to answer them? I'll help you out by outlining just 3 of them:

    1) You say you want to put ‘Quality First’ and ‘Provide Value for Money’ but you propose to close the highest quality service that you provide? How can you say that, for instance, BBC THREE is a higher quality service and more value for money than 6Music when it seems to be almost entirely reruns of fairly low quality programming such as Snog Marry Avoid, Hotter Than My Daughter and 3 Pints of Lager? 6Music has original quality programming on all of the time and yet BBC THREE costs £115m as apposed to 6Music’s paltry £9m?

    2) You say that you plan to take the best parts from 6Music and move them to Radio 1 and 2, yet this does not fit in with what you have outlined are your plans for these two stations. Where, for instance, you want to make Radio 2 have more than 50% talking during the day and if possible, increase it’s age demographic. How does dividing up 6Music’s hugely diverse content between these stations fit with this plan?

    3) You say that if you put money into advertising 6Music that you will go right up against other commercial radio stations but your own review showed that the service that 6Music provides is unique and not available anywhere else. Surely this completely contradicts your claim?

    Please do not insult our intelligence by you or Mr Davie posting yet another regurgitation of your official line. If you do not wish to engage us in an intelligent debate then don’t both posting any further comments to your blog and wasting our time. We’ve got far better things to do, like listen to 6Music!

  • Comment number 74.

    This is a completely pointless blog, Mark, given that you don't think you 'have anything to add'. How can you 'not have anything to add'? You have received hundreds of comments, questions, points about the total lack of justification for closing 6 Music, and you don't think you need to respond to them? That's just insulting.

  • Comment number 75.

    Yes Mark,
    it's very important to safeguard the future of 'Hotter Than My Dog'.
    You're babbling!
    Now be a man!

  • Comment number 76.

    We just put the tele on. Checked what was on and switched it off straight-away and returned to listening 6Music. This is quite normal in our house. There's 100's of channels showing insultingly idiotic tripe (3 of them have the BBC name in them). There's only one 6Music.

    Please make sure you and your partners and your friends and their partners and kids and everyone you know contacts the trust.

    Incidentally, if the trust support the BBC, the campaign really gets going. BBC, you ain't seen nothing yet. We are a passionate, intelligent crowd and will make our protest in a humourous, peaceful, legal yet attention-grabbing way.

  • Comment number 77.

    Yeah, what those guys said.

    I doubt this post will do anything except increase the comments count by one - but it's worth it for that.

    This part: 'the BBC's contribution to UK culture and society is bigger than the sum of its parts' is the bit that seems particularly ill-considered. I'm no modern historian, but didn't the Beeching Axe branchline closures mess up the railway? Closing the credible parts of the BBC is just going to reduce it's appeal and respect as an organisation.

    There are plently of parts that could be removed and the credibility of the BBC would increase without removing unique content. **cough**BBC3**cough**

  • Comment number 78.

    Ron Liddle from today's times puts it very well...

    If Mark Thompson, the director-general of the BBC, is at a loss to know what the BBC should stand for, he ought to take a look at a video of his appearance on Newsnight last week: it was all there, everything that’s good about the corporation, condensed into six minutes.

    There was challenging and innovative drama, as a small, nervous bearded man was eviscerated by one of his high-born employees, the sort of production you might have got if Terence Rattigan had ever collaborated with Quentin Tarantino. There was classic comedy as Jeremy Paxman read out to his interviewee the evening’s schedule for the fabulously pointless BBC4, which consisted of four repeats of a documentary about a fictional kangaroo.

    The comedy tipped into surreal, early Monty Python territory at times, and one half expected Paxo to lean forward and smack Thompson about the head, saying: “For God’s sake stop snivelling, you silly little man!” And there was that thing the BBC likes to think it does best — news — as the DG announced, sort of, the axing of 6 Music, unless they don’t axe it, which is fine, you know, we have to listen to what people say etc etc. Terrific entertainment — all that was missing, really, was a point. And that’s Mark Thompson’s problem.

    It seems to be established in the public mind that the chief fault of Thompson’s announcement that the BBC would be diverting money into “quality” and narrowing its remit a little, was cheese-paring and tactical. A sop to the critics who argue that Auntie has grown too big, and to the likes of rival outfits, such as this one, that resent its enormous, free online presence. But the bigger picture was missed, which is that Thompson still hasn’t grasped the necessity that the corporation has focused for too long on ratings at the expense of public service broadcasting. It is only the latter which will save the BBC.

    Have you heard Radio 1 recently? Have you had the top of your head sawn off and polystyrene foam pumped into the cavity? An endless fugue of established mid-market banal pop music interspersed with horribly perky or wacky imbecilic chatter. But that's not the point either; the point is that this moronic inferno is the staple of about 500 other radio channels across the nation, national and local. Almost everything else you hear on the radio is Radio 1 under another name, whereas 6 Music is almost the definition of public service broadcasting: a channel that encourages innovation in an area of importance both culturally and commercially, and that would not be broadcast elsewhere if the BBC didn’t do it.

    So what does Thompson do? Axes 6, and keeps 1. Because, of course, 6 gets a small audience and 1 gets a large-ish audience. No argument.

    The BBC executives would say that it would be akin to cutting their own throats to get rid of the popular stuff that they do well. But they are being strangled anyway, slowly and painfully. Because the notion that the BBC must do ultra-populist stuff so that it reaches the whole nation no longer plays; the market has changed. Just look at Radio 1 — Tony Blackburn and the like were getting audiences of more than 20m in the late 1970s; the top Radio 1 show today gets only 8m or so — and believe me, Chris Moyles is no more inane than was Blackburn.

    Will the DG still be saying we have to reach out to the nation when the Radio 1 audience is down to 5m, perhaps in five years’ time? Simply because the BBC does something well — Strictly Come Dancing, Radio 5 Live, Radio 1 — doesn’t mean it should be doing it. If we are to continue paying this communal tax of £142.50 per year, we need to feel that it is necessary to do so, not simply on the margins of desirability.

    Sir Richard Eyre, a former BBC Trust member, got it right when he said that the BBC had for too long been operating as a commercial organisation. If it thinks that it is a commercial organisation, then it should take its chances with other commercial organisations, without a licence fee.

  • Comment number 79.

    "From what I've read, I don't see there's much I can add"

    Mark - you are a truly astonishing man. Have you actually read anything at all? You have a huge mass of challenges and complaints to respond to.

    Your arguments for the closure of 6music are completely flawed - as explained many times above. 6music as it stands fits perfectly into your stated "quality" aim.

    Recent interviews and blogs from you, John Tate and Tim Davie are deeply concerning. You all come across as if you have little knowledge of music or of the music industry. It also seems that none of you understand the difference between Radio 1, Radio 2 and 6music and the difference between the listeners of each. Have any of you ever even listened to 6music?

    Please go back and rethink your proposals. If you feel able to put forward a logical argument for he closure of 6music (you haven't done so yet) then come back and give it to us.


  • Comment number 80.

    "I don't see there's much I can add to what I've said previously about specific proposals linked to 6 Music"

    Well that kinda says it all doesn't it?

    Your arguments for closing 6 are shown to be illogical, inconsistent with the stated aims of the review and are comprehensively demolished.

    You are made to look a fool on Newsnight

    Tim Davie sounds utterly clueless on Feedback

    Your only answer to the criticism is that the best bits of 6 will be "saved" by moving them to R1 or R2. However, you clearly have not the faintest idea how you could achieve that. Indeed that suggestion too has been convincingly shot down.

    And you have nothing further to say?
    Pathetic

  • Comment number 81.

    I can add little to the above, but would also welcome answers to the basic questions.

    Some cost-cutting ideas:

    I suggest tha the "About the BBC" blog ought to be axed, and its best bits (the licence-payer-generated content) merged into "Have Your Say". At least that wouldn't pretend to be a "conversation".

    I suggest that Mark Thompson and Tim Davie ought to be axed. Their services are of low quality - muddled management, confused logic, outstanding arrogance and terrible value-for-money.

    (Unless this entire furore is a viral marketing campaign to promote 6 Music, in which case they may well be genii...)

  • Comment number 82.

    Between them Mark Thompson and Tim Davie earn one and a half million a year of YOUR MONEY. Actually scrub that. That's what they've decided they should pay themselves. They actually don't EARN a penny of it.

  • Comment number 83.

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

  • Comment number 84.

    Where's the next pointless blog then?

    Do you think we've forgotten about this already?

  • Comment number 85.

    ooo Mark Thompsons commissioned a BBC3 programme where grooms to be are paid 12K of our money to arrange the wedding without the input of the bride. WOW

    Seriously Mark T, your taste is impeccable.

    Basically, scrapping an essential radio network so they can pay for a show called 'Don't Tell the Bride'.

    Justify this please Reichsorganizationsleiter Thompson.

  • Comment number 86.

    word of advice to Mark Thompson, if the torys win the next election (seems likely) the bbc is likely to come under a lot of pressure to make cuts, you might find you need all the friends you can find. Given 6music has a very passionate and vocal fanbase getting us on side might be a good idea. can i advice blaming the whole idea of axing 6music on tim davie then sacking him! (it might be a good idea anyway he seems to know nothing of radio and little about music, how the ex cola saleman got the job is beyond me)

    i'd love to be able to defend the BBC as distinctive quality worth every penny of the licence fee but if you axe 6music that makes such a position far harder to take.

  • Comment number 87.

    'From what I've read, I don't see there's much I can add to what I've said previously about specific proposals linked to 6 Music or the Asian Network...'

    I'm afraid you couldn't sound more arrogant and dismissive If you tried Mr Thompson. I'm not sure who is advising you, but this is bit of a PR disaster for the BBC and you personally.

    We know what you think. I understood this consultation period is for us. I'd love you to keep quiet. Actually I'd love to see you and Adam Buxton have a fight, but only because I think that it would be funny.

  • Comment number 88.

    Much of the review seems to have been prepared for another organisation. perhaps Channel 4 (some will understand the reference). The BBC is supposed for 'all those in the UK who wish to use its services' according to the Trust in a communication with me. However now teenagers and people who like the Rolling Stones and Genisis, (like me born in 1940), and use the web for other than news, are to be excluded.

    The problem of providing for everybody is how is the 'long tail' of tastes canto be served. The proposed ending of 'BBC6' says that 600,000 are not enough (except on R3) where the users are posher than on R6' and have more clout.

    The Review in fact demonstrates something I have held for sometime. There is no ecological niche for 'Public Space' to take up Mark's concept in the world of media profit orientated 'competition'. If you compete you are damaging the profit makers profits. If you don't no one will pay for you via a tax

    The conclusion stares you in the face. put it up for sale, after a Competition Commission review


  • Comment number 89.

    Hi,

    I'd like to disagree with poster 'Mike' (87, above); I would very much like Mr Thompson to continue to post here, though I am disappointed that he has chosen thus far not to answer any specific queries. I am of the opinion that were we to allow a genuine and serious-minded debate on the proposals, it would be easier for all concerned to arrive at a proposal that we, the public, can back.

    In particular, I'd like to raise a couple of points following the recent comments attributed to Caroline Thomson (reported by The Guardian - I have attempted to locate a direct source, but the closest I could find was a not-yet published report that will cost £95 to order. As such unless someone at the BBC can provide a transcript of her presentation, the article may have been misleading).

    In contrast to Mr. Davie's assurance that the best of 6 Music's output would be migrated to other BBC stations, so as to bring them to a wider audience (a proposition that I have questioned, based on stated target demographics), it would appear that Ms. Thomson's presentation focused more on the principle of defining boundaries on the BBC to protect commercial interests.

    The arguments for limiting the BBC's impact on commercial markets are indeed compelling; and from the time I've spent following this debate from the public perception, I don't see the principle itself being a major bone of contention (I cannot, of course, speak for everyone!). However, it is concerning that opinions from listeners and music professionals (including several from commercial radio leaders) have not been taken into account between the original report's publication and now.

    It is our contention that 6 Music doe _not_ compete directly with any commercial station. Granted, were 6 Music to be closed, a number of listeners would eventually migrate to other stations, but that cannot be considered direct competition any more than the motor vehicle industry competes with footwear manufacturers.

    It has also been widely reported that many in the music business - including several from inside commercial radio interests - are sceptical of any commercial station being willing or able to occupy the space left by 6 Music were it to close.

    In an attempt to understand why there is such a difference of opinion over this matter, I have gone back to the report itself, hoping to learn more about the research that went into it. In section 7, we are told "It is clear that commercial radio effectively delivers mainstream popular music broadcasting to younger and middle-aged adults." I would be more prepared to accept that statement were it accompanied with a direct link to the research that makes that clear. I noted the chart on page 22 that shows a breakdown of market share, but with C2DE/ABC1 figures of 41%/58% for 35-54, against 37%/49% for 16-34, I would read that as saying that listeners in these demographics are starting to turn _away_ from commercial stations. Please forgive me, as I am not by profession terribly familiar with interpreting this sort of market research; I would genuinely appreciate some follow-up posts to this blog (or elsewhere) that oculd help us take a more informed stance. After all, there is little value in a public consultation if facts that have been used to steer the proposal are obfuscated behind words such as "clearly".

    Furthermore, regardless of the interpretation of these figures, there is a far more troublesome aspect of the quoted statement, and it is here that I (and others) _can_ speak with authority; perhaps even more so than you or your management colleagues (that's not intended as an insult - I am merely unsure of the music tastes of you, Mr. Davie or Ms Thomson). It is the word "mainstream". 6 Music is not a mainstream music channel. Quite seriously, and most importantly, it is not. 6 Music has far more in common with Radio 3 than any other BBC music station. Or for that matter with any commercial station. The words "pop" and "popular" are becoming less and less relevant as time goes by; they tend to be applied to everything from Lady Gaga to Lemon Jelly, and from "popular" you would be forgiven for looking to "mainstream" as synonymous. But you will never hear Lemon Jelly on a mainstream radio station. A better description of 6 Music is that it is a contemporary music station, targetting serious music enthusiasts.

    Once that is understood, the argument for closing 6 Music to reduce the BBC's impact on commercial radio is greatly lessened. Moreover, by redirecting the money saved from 6 Music to strengthen Radio 1 and Radio 2, you are encroaching yet further into the commercial market, while effectively offering your competitors nothing in return but the possibility of briefly snaring (but likely not retaining) a handful of 6 Music refugees.

    I hope this post has clarified our views on the review proposal; even more I hope you will take me up on my invitation to reply.

    All the best,

    Bob.

  • Comment number 90.

    If one of the objectives is to eliminate duplication of services already provided by the commercial sector then surely the closure of Radio 1 one seem a more logical move than the closure of 6 Music.
    There are a plethora of commercial stations that provide a diet of chart led music.
    In contrast there are no commercial stations that offer the diverse range of music catered for by 6 Music.
    Another obvious candidate for closure must surely be Radio 7 which just seems to be repeats. A whole channel dedicate to rehashing aged material must surely be an extravagance.
    The only reason I brought a DAB radio was to receive 6 music. WIth the closure of this fanstastic channel there will be no point in replacing it when it stops working.

  • Comment number 91.

    The justifications given for closing 6 Music are contradictory and flimsy. Furthermore, it is completely at odds with the vision of the BBC you set out. 6 Music is one of the best examples of the BBC doing what it is supposed to do, enriching the cultural life of the country, informing and entertaining. Most importantly it provides a service that is not available anywhere else. Surely if the BBC is looking to reduce its services it should be looking at areas where the market is already well served by commercial broadcasters?

  • Comment number 92.

    >At 11:45am on 12 Mar 2010, leigh_ms wrote:
    >If one of the objectives is to eliminate duplication of services already >provided by the commercial sector then surely the closure of Radio 1 one >seem a more logical move than the closure of 6 Music.

    Or alternatively get rid of the less popular 1 extra ? Getting rid of 6 music just makes no sense and you must now realise that - SO ADMIT IT PLEASE!

  • Comment number 93.

    Mr Thompson,

    Your very own BBC stats just issued

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/siteusage/

    show 6 music to have :

    a) More unique listeners than Radio 3 (despite 6 being only available on digital) 1 extra and Radio7

    b) Over three (3) times more monthly listening hours than your beloved 1 extra

    c) Over four (4) times more listening hours than Radio 7 and double that of Radio 3

    d) A quick comparison of the charts for 1 extrahttp://www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/chart/singles

    and Radio 1
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/chart/singles/

    Show eight of the top ten songs are IDENTICAL

    And are exactly the same chart fodder on nearly every commercial station in the country!

    e) Not one of the songs on the current 6 playlist http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/listen/playlist.shtml

    Is in either of the other two stations charts thus clearly proving 6 music is a unique listening experience that neither R1 or R2 - not any commercial station - could ever replicate.

    Thus 6 music is exactly the sort of station the BBC should be concentrating on due to its unique and cultural values.

    As it is assured you are reading these posts please have the decency to give this one a public reply. Why have you picked out 6 music and kept Mr Parfitt's current empire intact?

    Looking forward to a clear concise response!

    Thanks

  • Comment number 94.

    Nothing as transparent as your replies to the questions raised by those who pay your obscene remuneration package Mark. In fact your drive for more transparency has gone so far that we the license fee payers can't see the replies to the questions we have raised. If you were so certain of your decisions you should have no problem in explaining them to us. I've had the misfortune to work with people like you in the past Mark, people with egos to big to let them admit when they've got something wrong.

    As an aside, who was responsible for the massive over spend at Broadcasting house? Have they been dismissed? If not, why not?

  • Comment number 95.


    Is it cynical of me to conclude that The Times Online giving away a free download of a world class BBC show, The Thick of It, to subscribers to their pay-wall is a clear indication of a new working relationship between the BBC and Murdoch?

    This is OUR BBC - you and your colleagues have sold us out. Those of us who believe of a strong, state BBC will never forget.

    Hang your heads in shame.

  • Comment number 96.

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

  • Comment number 97.


    Don't moderate - you are public employees and I'm a member of the public.

    Mark: You're a Freemason? - don't deny it, the body language says it all.

    Murdoch - James and Rupert ARE Masons - they don't deny it.

    What the HELL is going on between you? You are breaking up the BBC for the Dirty Digger. This will eat you forever. The BBC and the NHS are the only important British institutions and you are complicit in the destruction of British culture.

    A Minsister earns circa £100K. You (I was going to say earn) are paid over £800K. A minister would resign under your level of scrutiny. So why are you untouchable?

    Come clean on the Murdoch/Cameron/Thompson cabal now rather than let the Guardian expose it later.

  • Comment number 98.

    Here, n the interests of "transparency" and therefore not "off topic" is the standard, nonsensical response complainants to Caroline Thomson get when they complain about the victimisation of licence payers through the closure of 6Music.

    The "unique listeners" reference in not only nonsense, it implies that the BBC want people who listen to 6Music to not enjoy other BBC services even though it promotes them on 6Music.

    This woman cannot be allowed to remain on the BBC board.

    “Thank you for your email regarding 6 Music.

    I am sorry that this is not more personalised, but we have had a high volume of correspondence on this matter and it is impossible to reply to them all personally. However, this reply will hopefully answer most of your main points.

    Recommending the closure of a BBC Service, as the BBC has done, is never an easy decision. All of our services are loved, with passionate followers. However, after a long process of reviewing the entire BBC Portfolio across television, radio and online, considering value for money, wide ranging audience data, and the BBC’s place in the wider market, we have concluded that we should recommend to the BBC Trust that 6 Music should be closed.

    There are several reasons for this. Although 6 Music has a loyal following, it is a relatively small one, and it only brings about 4,000 people to the BBC who enjoy no other BBC Service. We appreciate that the station has some distinctive programming and some very loyal listeners, but it is expensive given its current audience size. We could fix that potentially by doubling or trebling the number of listeners, but the problem then would be that – given 6 Music’s demographics – it would be competing hard for the same audience as mainstream commercial radio. We have to recognise how big and successful BBC Radio already is, and that we sometimes have to make room for our competitors. We can’t do everything.

    We are therefore proposing to close 6 Music and serve the British public with an excellent musical offering with our two existing popular music stations, Radio 1 and Radio 2. There is some great talent on 6 Music on and off the air; where we can, we’ll find a home for them elsewhere in our services, and we will keep our overall investment in digital radio where it is today.

    The BBC Trust has now announced a 12 week public consultation, which will give all licence payers the opportunity to give their views on the proposals that we have announced. More information on this is available on the BBC Trust website. The Trust will use the responses from the 12 week consultation and its own analysis to form a final view on what the future strategic framework for the BBC ought to be.

    Thank-you for writing with your views.

    Caroline
    Caroline Thomson, Chief Operating Officer

  • Comment number 99.

    Thommo - I must applaud you after the RAJAR stats came out for 6music. This was all a brilliant plan! You've succeeded in promoting one of the BBC foremost quality brands at no cost to the Corporation. In doing so you've added nearly 50% on to the listener figures. Absolute genius! Cost cutting even the Tories would be proud of. You just can't buy that type of publicity!

    Go on - admit it now. You can call off the dogs.

  • Comment number 100.

    I would like to applaud the BBC in its brilliant strategy of bringing 6 Music to a wider audience, over 1 million listeners, up nearly 50% in one quarter and cost per listener down about third. Mark Thompson and Tim Davie you must be feeling a little smug today.

 

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