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The Future of 6 Music

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Tim Davie Tim Davie | 17:42 UK time, Tuesday, 13 April 2010

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

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

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

Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.

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

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

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




  • Comment number 3.

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

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

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

  • Comment number 4.

    Sir,

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

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

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

  • Comment number 5.

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

  • Comment number 6.

    Can you perhaps explain what these plans actually are, rather than what they are not?

    It seems extremely odd to close something with plans to reallocate the monies, but not specify what the money will be spent on.

    How do you know the things you dont know what they are will be (a) cheaper per listener hour and (b) of higher quality [your stated aims] than what you have now, if you dont know what these things are?

    I imagine you would get a lot more respect if you would be straight about what the replacement is. 6Music is not perfect. It could certainly be improved during the daytime. What are your plans?

    People might well actively support the alternative if it is better than what there is now.

  • Comment number 7.

    Tim. Please can you give a more detailed explanation as to how you plan to "do justice to its legacy" if 6music is closed?

    My understanding is that Radio 2 is to be asked to increase the talk content and appeal to an older audience. I don't see how incorporating any existing 6music material fits into that plan.

    I don't believe you will squeeze anything into the Radio 1 schedule at any sociable time of day.

    Now you say there are no plans for a Radio 2 Extra.

    So where will 6music content go? Please put some detail to your vague statements.

    As I have stated several times, I have yet to hear a logical argument for the closure of 6music. Putting quality first and closing 6music are completely at odds. Why are senior BBC executives so unwilling or unable to answer the many challenges put to them regarding this?

    Please stop whoever it is at the BBC from leaking things to The Times. The last leak proved to be all too accurate.

  • Comment number 8.

    Well, Tim, the campaign continues and so will the embarrassment for the BBC Board of Directors and 6Music WILL be saved. This is our BBC and we decide the future of it. Not Mr Thompson.

  • Comment number 9.

    Furthermore, we are owed a public meeting with the BBC Board. In fact, we demand it.

  • Comment number 10.

    Tim,
    As people have said, the campaign to keep 6 Music as it is will continue. The licence payer was promised a station such as 6 Music on digital when the then head of regions (I think the title was) closed the popular, but equally under-promoted GLR in London.

    I really feel those in senior management have little idea of the spectrum of music produced in the past 50 years. 6 Music is much more like Radio 3 in its understanding of music. Radio 1 & 2 are more Classic FM.. and I think people like the BBC and are happy to pay the license because we don't have adverts.

    Basing arguments on audience figures is something you do at your peril - as the retiring controller R4 said on Today today.

    The BBC may be attempting to stifle debate, not acknowleging the number of comments to it and the trust, not mentioning the large protest in Langham Place a few weeks ago, hardly mentioning the comments of a leading politician in the Radio Times. Please, come here with an example of how you would integrate 6 into other services. I also believe that management should hold public meetings to explain the closures - it happened when GLR was closed (even if not listened to). Please come and face the people who pay your wages and justify your proposals.

  • Comment number 11.

    Hello Mr Davie,

    Trust you are well after your big trip!

    Unfortunately the first few leaks were spot on, so forgive us for being skeptical. I really think you should work to stop them getting out.

    On a second point, we just can't seem to get to the bottom of some of the evidence Mr Thompson and Ms Thomson have been putting forth. Can you please, on behalf of listeners, let us know how the evidence for the 4000 unique listeners was gathered - and then explain its relevance?

    Thanks in advance,

    John

  • Comment number 12.

    Radio 2Extra is a dumb idea. Even dumber is closing 6Music.

    It will be interesting to see the outcome of the consultation. This will be the BBC Trust's biggest test to date - so will they rubber stamp what the BBC Management lay in front of them or will they listen to the consultation submissions from the license payers ?

    If I were a betting man I'd be putting money on the latter, else what is the point of the BBC Trust if it pays no attention to the people who pay the bills.

  • Comment number 13.

    Dear Tim,

    Closing 6 Music would be an appalling idea, rebranding it as R2 xtra would be equally as bad. Terry Wogan's Freak Zone???? Their is limited crossover between the two stations, Mark Lamarr is the only decent thing on Radio 2 at the best of time and he's only ever on after 10pm. Hardly primetime is he?

    A much better idea is NOT closing 6 Music at all and instead leaving it to continue doing the wonderful public service job of playing music that is available any where else on radio. 6 Music is an education and a joy to listen to. Lets keep it that way.

    Viva la 6!

  • Comment number 14.

    And while you're at it, get John Tait to list the "similar" stations to 6Music to which he referred in his response to the parliamentary committee. I've asked him twice and he doesn't seem to be able to think of any. I'm pretty sure putting forward fact without evidence to support it to parliamentarians is not a good idea.

  • Comment number 15.

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

  • Comment number 16.

    Hello again Tim,

    I'd just like to voice my agreement to all of the excellent points made in replies to your blog post, a big hear hear to reply no 4 from Rob Nickson. A lot of these points have been made before and while we answer each and every one of your so called arguments you, Mark Thompson, Caroline Thomson and John Tate have responded to precisely none of ours.

    All we ask is for an hour of your time on 6music or some other public forum to have a reasonable question and answer session. Need I remind you that WE pay your wages? Maybe you're now finding that life was easier in the private sector.

    As others have said maybe if you were to reveal exactly how the crumbs will be redeployed you might find some support from some small corner or other. As it is you have no support (save your above mentioned and embattled cohorts) while opposing your suggestions you have the save 6music campaign/listeners, the music industry, politicians (including the PM), commercial broadcasters, the media, BBC staff.

    So, in short, figure out your plans concisely (you get paid enough by us to do so) then come back to us with your ideas and do us the courtesy of answering our questions.

  • Comment number 17.

    Well, we've heard what you're apparently not going to do. There's been precious little detail as to what you DO propose. That's apart from closing a well-loved station for a relatively paltry 9m saving (not far off Chris Moyles' salary).

    Give it up, for god's sake. Everybody - the media, the music industry, commercial radio, even the PM - thinks this is a bad idea. Just hold your hands up and say you were wrong and we'll let it go. Everybody's entitled to a mistake now and again.

  • Comment number 18.

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

  • Comment number 19.

    So, if we're to get this clear in our heads, this Radio 2 Extra idea, which just happened to be mentioned in exactly the same place that the initial Strategy Review was leaked to, and which Tom Robinson mentioned at the 6 Music protest a couple of weeks ago, definitely isn't on anyone's agenda and hadn't ever crossed anybody's mind at all?

    Well, tell you what Tim, you're a hell of a marketing man. I'd believe anything you told me.

  • Comment number 20.

    Tim When are you just going to admit this was all a terrible PR blunder, even Gordon Brown is onside! 6 music is unique and is exactly the type of station the BBC must retain. I am also very sorry to see you seem to be making decisions before the review is completed. You already know the outcry against this ludicrous idea and you also know that neither R1 or R2 can ever fill the gap you are proposing. The handling of this has been a disgrace and I echo previous comments - come out and face the public - tell us which stations you believe will fill the gap you propose to make. Why not allow us a public meeting? This whole episode brings further disgrace on the BBC and it is not the peasants that are revolting but rather the top brass for showing complete ineptitude in this sorry saga!

  • Comment number 21.

    Yes, enough rumours and vague explanations. We demand a public meeting.

  • Comment number 22.

    As a license-fee payer, not part of any demographic (if I'd ever filled in a RAJAR diary the marketing brain would explode as a consequence!), I continue to be disappointed by your responses. It is difficult to avoid the presumption that "once a BBC senior manager has spoken, the process of revisionism has to begin" - otherwise justifying the indefensible would run out of steam very quickly.

    I have not received replies to many of my comments, questions and complaints about the proposal and the process - presumably this is BBC policy in the vain hope that those of us who care about the breadth of output will go away.

    The current reasoming around "reinvesting" the money is completely laughable for its inconsistency. 6 Music, which appears to cross-promote other BBC output with minimal support from elsewhere, is under-promoted but over-performing with respect to listener numbers. If the BBC Trust's own recommendations were put into effect it would continue to promote new music and exploit the BBC's position as cultural patron over the last fifty years. Instead you propose closing it with no apparent Plan B. Forgive us lesser mortals when we cannot see the consistency of this.

    I sincerely hope that the BBC Trust continues to receive well-argued objections to the Director-General's proposals (not just with respect to 6 Music but across the board). I also then hope that many of the senior management of the BBC reflect upon their expereinces and consider whether our licence fees might be better spent on improving content, rather than importing "private sector" approaches.

  • Comment number 23.

    2 Extra is a very bad idea. It would not sit comfortably and would merely antagonise everyone - both 6 Music and Radio 2 listeners.

    'Redeploying' content elsewhere is not a suitable solution either as this would inevitably be at 3:00 am on a Sunday morning on the most obscure outpost of the network.

    What annoys the (rapidly growing) numbers of fans of 6 Music most is:
    1) There have been no coherent reasons supplied as to why the proposal to axe 6 Music was made in the first place. Accountability is paramount.
    2) Despite a massive number of complaints, you still persist in proceeding with this half-baked idea - totally against public opinion.

    The BBC is paid for and owned by the public.
    The BBC management are the caretakers of the BBC. Their tenure is only temporary whereas, hopefully, the BBC will carry on long after they've left for pastures new.
    Do not destroy everything that is good about the BBC whilst you are merely temping.

  • Comment number 24.

    I agree with all the arguments above, they are rational, specific and pertinent and they are in marked contrast to anything I have heard form either yourself, Mark and Caroline Thompson etc.
    Personally I cannot imagine any or all of your half suggestions even beginning to plug the huge gaping hole which will be left in the British broadcasting scene by the closure of 6Music. I cannot understand why the BBC is not just proud of the brilliance of its creation.

    Go on Tim, play the big man! admit that the planned closure was an error. Think of the kudos of being truly responsive to the licence-payer - the strength of feeling surrounding six music is a triumph! It's not a personal issue this, but a matter for the future of music in Britain. Please lend your voice to a reversal of the proposed decision.
    Thankyou

  • Comment number 25.

    I really would prefer to see the BBC led by people whose primary aim is to create the right environment for making good programmes - this obsession with 'demographics', 'unique listeners' and 'rebranding' really does not sound right when it comes from a public service broadcaster.

    However - given that you're in the job, and 'branding' is something that obviously excites you, why not admit that almost all the comment about the 6Music 'brand' over the past few weeks has been positive - in other words, people like 'the brand' and 'brand awareness' is now much greater, even if this has been brought about in a less than ideal manner.

    So, admit it, you're on to a winner with the 'brand' that is 6Music. There's no way to incorporate its content elsewhere - everyone else can see that, saving money isn't the issue - you've told us that yourself, and it seems that almost everyone apart from you and a few other senior managers wants not just the content but also the name (i.e. the 'brand') to continue.

    Why not just own up and admit that you've got this one wrong?

  • Comment number 26.

    6Music is a fine example of how public service broadcasting should be and I am totally dismaid at the proposal to close the station.

    As a licence fee payer for a few members of BBC management to say we are going to draw cuts here and there with scant regard for it's audiences is borderline offensive. 6Music and Asian network are considered as 'niche' stations with low audiences figures, which are hardly surprising they're DAB offerings only that have been badly publicised!!! regardless it is in your charter to provide services to all people groups in Britain and because of the unique way the BBC is funded, commercial viability does not come into it. Listening figures are improving for 6Music and you should do all that you can to promote the take up of digital radio as you have done with digital television.

    6Music unlike any commercial radio station plays a wealth of music from upcoming new talent in the indie sector that wouldn't be heard elsewhere, an essential platform for creativity in this country showcasing new artists and bands. To clear up a matter, 6Music is not another 'Pop' music station and cannot be compared in anyway to Radio 1, Radio 2 or any commercial rival, it plays 'real' homegrown music with a heart and a soul and not bland mainstream material from the major record labels, for these reasons 6Music must be saved.

    We are passionate about our music and just want to continuing listening to what we love on our station of preference and ask you please not to take it away from us.

    6Music is a gem of a radio station, please don't realise its value when it too late, Thank you.

  • Comment number 27.

    A few weeks ago, reports of the closure of 6music were dismissed as speculation, and premature - then turned out to be correct. I think we’re justified in being sceptical when you dismiss reports as speculation.

    “Simply rebranding 6 Music as Radio 2 Extra is not one of our plans”. But your plans do include sprinkling bits of the existing 6 Music content into the Radio 2 network and shutting the rest. I know that you are a marketing man rather than someone with a broadcasting background, but please believe us when we say that the branding is not the principal issue here- it’s the content. Quite frankly, as long as you keep 6 Music going as it is, with expert presenters and a wide range of alternative music, on 24 hours a day 7 days a week, you can call it what you like (though changing the brand now that it has achieved widespread recognition, and gained many new listeners, would be foolish). Just don’t shut down or “redeploy” the only reason I pay the licence fee.

    Radio 2 is not the natural partner of 6music. The musical content of 6music does not belong on the Radio 2 network- the BBC Trust has already stated that it wants Radio 2 to become 50% speech-based, which is completely at odds with the 6music focus on “the music that matters”.
    You have indicated that you plan to reinvest the money from closing 6music in digital content, and then redeploy the programming elsewhere. Any mechanism other than simply keeping 6 music will result either in a serious reduction in time allocated to quality music programming , or cost lots of money . Setting up a new digital station can’t be cheap, and I’ve yet to meet a licence fee-payer who would prefer that the BBC spent money on admin and marketing, rather than broadcasting new and innovative music.

    6Music works. Please don’t waste our money trying to save face.

  • Comment number 28.

    My contact at the Trust has just told me that you (or anyone else on the BBC Board) can call them at any point today to get the 6Music/Asian Network Proposal removed from the proposals and the consultation.

    Their number is [Personal details removed by Moderator]. They look forward to your call.

    Humans make mistakes, idiots repeat them.

  • Comment number 29.

    > considering how we can also do justice to its legacy in areas like new music development

    Keep it as it is !!!! What legacy anyway its still alive and kicking. Clueless

  • Comment number 30.

    Tim.

    Who is advising you on PR? This is all a bit silly. Much better to be like MOSSAD and niether confirm or deny when you're in trouble.

    As I understand it, the trust are beavering away reading all our responses to the strategic review. Perhaps best leave them to it eh?

  • Comment number 31.

    Tim,
    Thank you for continuing your blogs. I would like to say thanks for continuing to discuss the matters raised, but again you seem to be unwilling to respond to the overwhelming number of requests for you to come out and discuss your proposals in a constructive manner. Why are you, or any of your colleagues against such discussion ?
    On the points in this blog posting ;
    "...we will reinvest any funds from the proposed closure of 6 Music in digital radio content."
    So, if the prposed closure of 6Music is cash neutral, what is the rationale behind the proposed closure ?
    "I said we would look at protecting some 6 Music programming by redeploying it elsewhere and considering how we can also do justice to its legacy in areas like new music development."
    But you continue to back this up with any proposals. The move to focus Radio 2 to an older audience, and to increase the speech content, must restrict your ability to redeploy it to R2. If not there, then where else ?
    The overwhelming view being put forward to the BBC Trust must surely mean they will not sanction the closure of 6Music. How about being brave enough to realise this ?

  • Comment number 32.

    #11 The easiest thing to do if you want to know how the mythical 4000 figure is derived is to make a Freedom of Information request at the email address below. You might also want to ask how the figure is derived and what the same figure is for all other BBC radio and TV channels (I would love to know whether there is anyone who watches BBC3 -Danny Dyer's hard-hitting investigations for instance - and doesn't watch any other BBC TV channel).

    Let's hope that the BBC - in their spirit of openess and transparency to the people who pay their wages - do not try to weasel out and try to block FOI requests on the subject of 6music.

    foi@bbc.co.uk

  • Comment number 33.

    Once again, this blog makes painful reading and shows me once again that the BBC are missing the point.

    On one hand, the BBC is talking about value for licence fee payers. On the other, it is completely missing its remit to innovate and provide content for underserved audiences "because of the unique way in which it is funded".

    Read my lips: If 6Music dies (or becomes a formal extension of the Radio 2 brand), NOTHING can replace it. Commercial stations can't afford to take the risks that 6 is able to take. Noone but the BBC has the resources to offer the session archive or new sessions that 6 offers.

    If you kill 6Music, you kill quality music. Period. You are effectively stifling creativity of all but the X Factor clones.

    The occasional "appointment" to listen to some of the specialist DJs on another station will only alienate both audiences.

    6Music is not a privilidge - it is a public and cultural service - it has more in common with Radio 3 than Radio 2 in that sense. The BBC is a public service broadcaster. You have the power and obligation to reverse this decision.

  • Comment number 34.

    To jtr, the reason they aren't backing down is because they are running the BBC for their own needs and not ours. The DG is scared of not looking weak in the face of all of these protests. Unfortunately he's not learnt from lessons past, that a stubborn man is an unpopular man.

    He has three options:
    1. Resign. I've got the bunting ready.
    2. Announce that 6Music is safe immediately, thus gaining some credit from the public for listening to its views.
    3. The humiliation of being told to keep 6Music by the trust.

  • Comment number 35.

    It's GLR all over again.

    BBC would rather be popular than good and the platform is far more important than the content...

    plus ca change

  • Comment number 36.

    This is what happens when you put a marketing man in charge of 'Audio and Music' at a public service broadcaster. Apparently he worked for PepsiCo which make Pepsi, a sickly sweet, homogenised and slightly nauseating product with artificially added fizz: A bit like the playlists of commercial radio stations that 6 Music is supposed to be in competition with. Italian psychedelic prog on Heart FM?! I don't think so!

  • Comment number 37.

    As other people have commented, whatever the source of leaks to News International has been in the past, they have been suspiciously accurate up till now.

    So you suddenly announcing 'oh, no, this one is definitely a false report' DOES NOT RING TRUE!

    As I'm sure you're all too aware there are a group of angry, passionate and engaged listeners and licence fee payers who are demanding real answers and debate here. Just saying that you cannot discuss more until the consultation period is over is NOT ENOUGH - if we are currently during the period of review and consultation, NOW is the time you need to be engaging with us, your audience, your listeners, the people who pay your salaries!

    We are not going to go away and we are not going to stop complaining. We want answers!

  • Comment number 38.

    To APbbforum,

    Thus far they have blocked my FOI requests regarding the full cost of the failed IT contract - Estimated by Private Eye to in the region of £2bn - on the grounds that it is commercially sensitive.

    I'm await a response re statistics relating to complaints arising from the proposed closure.

    This week's request will ask for all documentation relating to the processes used in deciding which output should be cut in the review.

    Next week's FOI request is a gem and could be political dynamite and I've got another 2 to write up. 6 FOIs for 6Music!

  • Comment number 39.

    Good point Alison. How can we have a consultation period when most of the details are not known? And that was directed at you Tim.

  • Comment number 40.

    I agree with so much on here that I hardly know where to start, and there's little more I can say to add to the argument, except that this is one more licence paying 6 Music listening member of the public who is appalled by plans to close this fantastic, innovative and totally unique station. I thought the Radio 2 Extra news was an April fool. As so many others have pointed out, there is so little cross over between the two stations; they both set out to do their own thing and there is room for both. The BBC could save a lot of money by dropping these plans, which must in themselves be costing a fortune of OUR money, and give us what we want which is to keep 6 Music on air doing what it does best - promoting new music and keeping old music and otherwise ignored genres alive. There is room in this world for Radio 2 AND 6 Music. BBC 3 is a total waste of time and money - I know noone who watches it. Scrap that instead. I bet if you announced plans to do so there wouldn't be the outcry that you're receiving now. Save face, listen to your public and keep 6 Music going.

  • Comment number 41.

    Tim, I realise we're all reading too much into each announcement and we're all getting rather hot under the collar. But we love 6Music. I welcome your confirmation that it will not be cut-up and placed on different stations, but it's easy to see why that causes alarm.

    Yesterday we had bite-sized chunks of 6, today we might be left with none. I have a lot of respect for you Tim, you have interacted with listeners like no other BBC Director and that is to be applauded. But I cannot see why this proposal ever made the light of day. Why wait until the Trust report? The response to the proposal is pretty clear already.

  • Comment number 42.

    Dear, Dear Timothy,

    I am confused as to which part of the argument against the closure of 6music you or the Tommo twins are failing to grasp? Where's all the transparency and accountability? I haven't heard a squeak from any of you gang of three to counter any of our arguments against your proposals.

    When Thompson had the audacity to say our (6Music listeners) musical preferences were catered for by the commercial sector, it was like a slap in the face with a foul smelling advert. Firstly, a simple question such as naming the commercial alternatives to 6Music seems too difficult for any of you to answer. Admittedly this was made more difficult for you when people who run the commercial sector admitted that they couldn't come anywhere near offering what 6Music does, and the closure would make no difference to them whatsoever. Secondly, have any of you actually tried listening to commercial radio? I would rather go without radio than listen to the inane advert infested dross that the commercial sector consider suitable for broadcast.

    I do wonder how much of this sorry state of affairs is because you're frightened of Murdoch Inc. & the Tory party? A more cynical view would be that you don't want to burn bridges when your time at the BBC comes to an end, but that's pure speculation on my part. Personally I wish someone at the top of the BBC tree would grow a spine (or at least commission one) and stand up to Murdoch and the Tories and tell them exactly where to get off.

    So Timothy, lets pretend you're still in the world of fizzy pop, Papsee change their recipe to Papsee classic, uproar from the customers who think it tastes like sewer water and demand it be put back and left as the product they loved previously.

    Would you,

    a) put out a statement that Cokesi makes something vaguely similar to what Papsee was like and they'll just have to go there instead?

    b) say tough they can lump it and there's nothing they can do about it?

    c) do as the loyal customer base demand and admit it was an error and it won't happen again?

    Balls in your court Timothy, there's only credibility at stake.

    PS Please don't use the above as one of those competition things at the end of a tv program, it's far too easy to get the correct answer.

  • Comment number 43.

    You're in the wrong and everyone knows it!
    I'm just about to deliver a seminar to my Journalism/PR/Communications/Media students on public service broadcasting. Part of it outlines some of the advantages of retaining Public Service Broadcasting and a licence fee, for example: it allows the BBC to make programmes free from market pressure; the BBC is driven by the desire to serve the ‘nation’ rather than the interests of advertisers or profit seeking companies; the BBC is committed to providing mixed programmes rather than just those programmes that are likely to be popular; the licence fee provides the BBC with a guaranteed and predictable income that allows it to pursue programming without concern for public taste – ie programmes which may only be of interest to a small audience, and, last but by no means least; the BBC is ultimately supposed to be accountable to its licence payers - to us lot!
    But of course, you know all this already.
    I'd be very interested in knowing how much public support you've had for the view which states 'yes, please get rid of 6music, it makes good sense'.
    I think we all hope you were never serious about getting rid of one of the greatest successes in the BBC's history. I think we all hope you've just used 6music as an excuse to garner support and input into the BBC spending review. Everyone I know who has ever heard 6music knows it's a good thing.
    I'm heartened in that I thought concensus around public issues was a thing of the past until the BBC's announcement to consider axing 6music.
    Please just get on with announcing the only thing you're scrapping is your intention to close it. Mind you, as many other people have suggested, you could scrap BBC3 instead - by comparison the savings would be considerable, you'd be preserving the Public Service ethos, and hardly anyone would notice...



  • Comment number 44.

    This just fills me with horror. I don't want them to close 6 and use the cash to feed speech based radio or whatever. I want the "content" of 6Music 24-7, like we have now. You might have a "commitment" to digital radio, but what you propose is weak, bland digital radio, that I for one have no interest in. Redeploying "some" of 6 Music sounds appalling. Just throwing a few scraps all over the network, probably after 10 at night. You would spend hours trawling through the schedules just to find anything worth listening to. I don't know why you say you want to do "justice" to 6Music's "legacy". 6Music isn't dead and we will fight to keep it alive.

  • Comment number 45.

    Tim

    Out of idle curiosity I thought I’d write down just some of the tracks played on 6Music last Sunday. Just for your information, so to speak.

    Brian Eno, Lee Hazelwood & Nancy Sinatra, Bill Calahan, Devendra Banhart, Jimi Hendrix, Bajofondo, Traffic, Mr Bloe, Belle & Sebastian, Canned Heat, Henry Thomas, Bongwater, Bettye LaVette, Barclay James Harvest, Paul Williams, Robyn Hitchcock, Spike Jones, Ween, Nilsson, Air, Virginia Astley, Jonathan Richman, The Ukulele Beatles, Ska Cubano, Chuck Berry, Carole King, Eli, Chicago, The Dead Weather, Judas Priest, Curtis Mayfield, ZZ Top, Mos Def, Willie Colon & Hector Lavoe, The Cars, Dead Boys, Neil Young, D’angelo, Laurie Anderson, John Morris, The Kingsmen, Dory Previn, The Rattles, Malcom McLlaren, Bo Diddeley, Alternative TV, Philip Glass, Rufus Wainwright, Glenn Gould, Area Code 615, Nouvelle Vague, Ennio Morricone, Steve Reich, Joanne Newsom, Barbara Morgenstern, Bridget St John, Burial and Four Tet, Principal Edwards Magic Theatre, Diamanda Galas, Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Ryoji Ikeda, Fats Domino, Tom Waits, Love, My Morning Jacket, Jefferson Airplane, Louis Jordan, Shack, Bon Iver, Slim Harpo, Japan, Bonnie Prince Billy, The Magnetic Fields and Fred Astaire.

    That’s essentially just a sample for a few hours of broadcasting on one single day. Are we expected to believe that we will retain the sheer joy of such eclecticism with a unspecified fragment of the station relegated to the backwaters of some unspecified channel?

    Or maybe there’s an alternative station out there somewhere that plays this sort of mix. There must be, John Tate told the Lords Committee last week that ‘there are services that cater for similar tastes’. I heard him, he was very specific. Perhaps he could clarify.

  • Comment number 46.

    There isn't much I can add to the intelligent and thoughful comments above. I hope Mr Davie chooses to read them.

    Like everyone else, I am still waiting for the arrival of a coherent argument for the closure of 6 Music. Mr Davie links to a previous blog, which despite over 100 comments on it raising numerous key questions, reflects the failure to address rational discussion points or even engage with the public on this matter. If there has been one consistent theme shown by BBC management over this period, it is that they have a clear misunderstanding of what 6 Music actually is.

    Mr Davie should be proud of the 6 Music brand that the BBC has created, and should consider the consistent opposition to his proposals from the Prime Minister to David Bowie as clear evidence of this. Can he actually name one other person besides himself or one with a surname of Thompson who actually thinks this is a good idea?




  • Comment number 47.

    The trouble is, it’s not about great radio.

    It’s about “branding”. To the corporate robots we're dealing with, 6Music is just a “brand”, music is a “product” and the audience are just “consumers”.

    We’re dealing with a ruthlessly commercial mindset within a creative, public service model. It’s a recipe for disaster.

    Furthermore, the people making these decisions are not 6Music listeners. They don’t begin to get it. It’s all just “pop music” to them. You only have to hear these suits turn when they up on Desert Island Discs to realise that they've had to get a PR agency in to put the music shortlist together for them.

    They want “unique listeners” i.e. people who only listen to 6Music. But why? It’s alternative. People with alternative tastes naturally have a broad cultural appetite, wanting intelligent speech and comedy on Radio 4, maybe some Radio 3 – even stuff like Resonance FM. We don’t put the radio on in the background, we actually listen to it.

    The BBC argument about making room for commercial competitors is such utter nonsense I’m tired of explaining it. Caroline Thomson’s “6Music sits at the heart of commercial demographic” argument suggests that 6Music is stopping Heart FM selling us double glazing between Simply Red records because we’re all aged 37.

    It is so deeply concerning that people of this mindset are anywhere near, let alone in charge of, the absolute jewel of British cultural life – the BBC.

    We're not interested in "face saving" compromises now. the sooner you are all just taking the Murdoch shilling (which you inevitably will) and out of the BBC the better.

    SAVE BBC RADIO 6MUSIC - There is NO alternative

  • Comment number 48.

    Tim,

    You're wrong. Everything you say is wrong. Even in a parallel universe where everything you say is right, you're (inexplicably) wrong. The best thing you can do is just not say anything, not write anything, maybe find a job more suitable. (Seriously, how does a marketing manager for a fizzy drink company and a multinational with a penchant for animal testing end up being Director of Audio and Music? It's like hospital managers fast-tracked to head of surgery via a BA in Modern History.)

  • Comment number 49.

    "we will reinvest any funds from the proposed closure of 6 Music in digital radio content"

    Dear Mr Davie,

    Given the above statement, what does closing 6music achieve? There seems to be a concensus that 6music meets 'quality' requirements. So there are no grounds to close it on that basis.

    And closing it for financial reasons doesn't work because of your above statement.

    So WHY is it being closed? It just doesn't make any sense to me. Things like 6music (and BBC2, BBC4, and a few others) is what the BBC is about!

  • Comment number 50.

    I heard a very intelleigent comment on Rdaio 4 today which was intelligent radio is not about demographics. I whole heartly agree, which is why using demographics as a reason to close 6 Music is such an absurd argument. 6 Music is a radio station that intelligently talks about music and guides the listener through the wealth of high quality music that is out there both old and new and from such diverse genres. 6 Music is also blessed with some of the very best presenters in radio as the nominations for the sony awards demonstrates. Save 6 Music.

  • Comment number 51.

    Very glad to hear that rebranding 6 Music as Radio 2 Extra is not one of your plans (the two stations are laughably dissimilar in terms of content and ethos). Are we able to know what your plans actually are so that we get a chance to comment on them during the current review period? It's been eloquently and repeatedly argued elsewhere but it really can't be restated often enough: 6 Music is one of the jewels of the BBC, a service that enlightens and informs as much as it entertains, and reasoning behind the proposal to close it is embarrassingly flimsy. Can you find even one public figure outside of the BBC management that supports this bizarre decision?

  • Comment number 52.

    6 Music a real jewel in the BBC's crown. Why close a station that is so well respected and has such devoted fans. How many Sony awards do they have to win and be nominated for to make you realise.

    Please do not close 6 Music!

  • Comment number 53.

    Have I missed something? - You currently have 5 live extra, 6, 7, and Asian. You want to close 6 and Asian to save money to invest elsewhere to improve programming with inspiring music, knowledge and culture elsewhere on digital radio or digital broadcasting?

    You want to close the most quality inspiring stations to create or improve what? 5 live extra? Is this about covering more (expensive) sports events on 5 live extra?

    You want to rebrand 7 as 4extra, is that right? why would you do this?, it costs money, what's your reasoning?, will it help tap into the 4 listenership?

    What are you doing? Why are you doing it? It's a half-baked strategy.. tell us the rest...

  • Comment number 54.

    I agree with most of the comments on this thread. Radio 2 extra sounds utterly dire - I can’t imagine why anyone from 2 or 6 would want to listen. Closing 6music will be a colossal waste of the investment you’ve already made in creating such an excellent service. If you are not closing 6 to make cuts then it makes no sense to close down your best online/digital product and spend the money elsewhere - 6music is such a good product as it is, any dismantling will just lead to a reduction in quality in the BBC - the opposite of your stated goals.

    Rob Nickson (comment 4) sums up the situation perfectly: 6music supports new musical talent, currently provides excellent and unique content, and therefore the interests of its listeners are best served by keeping the current excellent content as it is and where it is. The BBC has no good argument to support its closure.

  • Comment number 55.

    mr davie,

    resign now,you clearly are a man who is in the wrong job because if you knew what you were doing then you wouldn't be closing bbc 6 music,there is no way you are a genuine music lover as us bbc 6 music listeners and fans are.

    We have a wonderful station a beacon of what the bbc does best and you want to close it? are you scared of murdoch and the tories?

    Bbc 6 music's presenters,listeners are passionate about GOOD music which has NO PLACE for simon cowells clones!!!!
    You clearly don't know what you are doing and have lost your mind so do us all a favour, admit you ARE WRONG and leave 6music alone or RESIGN, RESIGN NOW....JUST GO!

  • Comment number 56.

    It looks like moves are afoot to get a meeting with the BBC board. If they are so confident of their (yet to be specified) justifications for this proposal, then they will have no problem answering to a studio full of 6Music fans.
    What a dreadful embarrassment this is for the BBC though. It's sheer arrogance. Any other organisation would have admitted defeat by now.
    This can't be helping the futures of these people. Even the tories must now wonder what the point of the bbc is if they don't give the licence fee holders what they want. Does Thomo really think Sky gave a monkeys about 6music?

  • Comment number 57.

    "I said we would look at protecting some 6 Music programming by redeploying it elsewhere.."

    Mr Davie, surely you understand the function of a radio station. Picking a thread of programming out of the Radio 2 schedule is incomparable with having a brilliant network 24/7. I appreciate your efforts in communicating with us licence payers but I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling pretty insulted by each attempt at justifying the closure and I have to agree with cookingwith7's comment:

    "If there has been one consistent theme shown by BBC management over this period, it is that they have a clear misunderstanding of what 6 Music actually is."

  • Comment number 58.

    I continue to be appalled by this decision. I am amazed that you haven't done an about turn given the massive amount of public support this station has. I simply cannot believe how out of touch the senior management and trust of the BBC are with your licence payers. We pay your wages. We demand this service. No other radio station comes anywhere near Radio 6. Rebranding as 2 Extra, what a joke! have you even listened to either station. The only decent programme on radio 2 is Radcliffe and Maconie. Coincidentally also a 6music dj.

    I turned onto Radio 2 the other morning to remind myself of the station that you actually amazingly support. Chris Evans was playing Status Quo's Whatever You Want. I could have wept thinking that was purported as the alternative to the amazing broad, interesting across the board programming now provided on Radio 6.

    You honestly seem to think that being a music lover is about age. radio 1 until you're 30 radio 2 when you're in your forties and then radios 3 and 4. That is simply not the case. Music is a broad church and like John Peel we continue to old new, cross genre until we are into our dotage. No other station appeals to music lovers like Radio 6. We will not do without it and we will continue to fight to keep it.

    Shame on you!

  • Comment number 59.

    While we would appreciate Tim's response to all of our questions, it would be better coming from £800,000 per year Director General Mark Thompson. So we await your comments "Thomo".

  • Comment number 60.

    Mike #38

    Apparently we've got it all wrong - see link below. The BBC is fully transparent and will therefore release all the information relating to the closure of 6music. And here's me thinking they were desperately trying to block it.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/2010/04/continuing-the-drive-for-trans.shtml

  • Comment number 61.

    Redeploying some 6 Music programming elsewhere, actually misses the point of why there has been such a big protest at your plans. 6 Music as a service is much more than the sum of its parts, it's an ongoing cultural dialogue. It's important to us license fee payers because its value for money is in the fact that it's available at anytime of day as an alternative, high quality and unique radio station. It's not the same thing to take programmes from 6 Music and put them on another station, it's not even a compromise, you will still be closing down something that represents exactly what the BBC should be doing.

    I really don't understand why there is this proposal to close 6 Music. I understand the need for the BBC to restructure and become more efficient and concentrate on high quality services, but closing 6 Music doesn't fit with that at all. The only reason i can think for this proposal is that you and the other people who came up with it didn't actually realise how good 6 Music is.

    You should be holding it up as an example of what the BBC can do and how to spend our license fee.

  • Comment number 62.

    Excellent comments from respondents - keep it up!

    Without exception, no one is in favour with the proposal to close 6Music.

    I don't want to stir things up regards BBC3, however, Mr Davie, You can see the response on 6Music listeners - there would be nothing like this if you were to close £115M BBC3. Watchers would simply watch similar "demographically targeted" material on ITV. No one would shed a tear at the demise of BBC3 - and before anyone says "nurturing new comedy talent" - that used to be BBC2 - Big Train, The Day Today, etc. etc. - send this talent back to BBC2.

    If you do this, (close 6Music) you will go to your grave remembered only as being the man with the audacity to metaphorically defecate on the grave of John Peel.

    Keep 6Music - you'll be a bigger man for listening!

  • Comment number 63.

    Sigh, why bother 'communicating' to the public the your intention to continue on a course (ie the closure of 6music) which so many people are so vehemently against.

    Please get away from keyboard and into real discussion with users of 6music, music industry professionals and artists who have been pushed into larger customer audiences thanks to 6music's brilliant programming; dedicated, passionate DJ's; and commitment to providing an alternative music boradcast to the bland, commercial output of all the other poor stations you continue to praise.

    And why use up license-payers money on Comment Moderators for comments (no offense to those moderating this comment) which are never read by the very people who matter most. This is not interaction with the public BBC, just as a hardly-distributed survey which deems 6music appeals to mainly 37-60 year olds isn't. I can tell you from personal experience, the young people who matter to music, IE the ones who actually pay for the music they listen to, mainly listen to 6music, not the ridiculously poor radio 1.

    Why BBC, why?

  • Comment number 64.

    I'll try and keep it short and sweet, but I do have the tendency to ramble when I'm passionate about something. One thing I am very passionate is 6 Music.

    I would really love you to explain how 6 Music would work in a broken up way with programs shoved all over the place at all hours of the day on Radio 2 and other stations? How long do you intend to keep the dj's once you put them at graveyard shifts? I'm pretty sure Lauren Laverne won't stick around. It's a bit like when Melody Maker closed and NME said they would take it over. What they didn't tell us was that it was half a page stuck next to the drum lesson ads. And then it disappeared soon after.

    Why on earth would you close a successful station with growing listener ship and exciting, fresh and new music that you will not find on any other station and that won't be found on any other station (on the BBC or elsewhere)? There just seems to be no logic to anything that has been said.

    So, the money is being given to other digital radio services. I'm guessing 1 Xtra because it is near to mainstream and it needs money pumping into it because it is failing. 6 Music has a fan base with passion and knowledge and who get involved in the stations output.

    I'm guessing the amount of complaints you have received is more than you've ever or ever will receive about one of the BBC's services. Surely the amount of people who are passionate about 6 Music and who have voiced their concerns shows you how much it needs to be saved.

    Please give valid excuses to why you want to scrap it please, because the answer we currently have just don't add up.

    Gareth Wane (Aged 30 years old)
    Listener since 2004

  • Comment number 65.

    Still waiting for a response Mr Thompson. I should refer you to your own blog site http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/2010/04/continuing-the-drive-for-trans.shtml

    If I earnt a tenth of what you do I'd put in a few extra hours to deal with customer complaints. Not that I get this many, because my job depends on me listening to my customer's needs. But let's not start a discussion about whether you are worth your salary, because you're about to announce that 6Music is saved. Aren't you?

  • Comment number 66.

    Ignore the nonsense over long URL to contact the BBC Trust - just go to www.bbc6music.info and hit the links.

    BBC could have made it this easy but chose not to. Instead we get a web domain to make us think "I haven't got a pen to take that really long web address down so I won't bother."

    Mr Davie, This is making so many people who really love the BBC so angry. We're not angry people generally but no station can do what 6 does.

    Recycling the content to the outer reaches of Radio 2 treats us - people who live and breath art, culture, books etc. as freaks. We are expected to mix our musical tastes with "product" Simon Cowell - we cannot do this.

    I want to listen to Steve Lamacq in the car on the way home (after catching a bit of the brilliant Eddie Mair on R4) and not at 2am in the morning on Radio 2 or on a Podcast.

    Just stop this nonsense right now! Be a hero - tell us you didn't realise there was such strong feeling out there - back down, call The Trust - you can and you know you can. Tell them that as a result of this debacle, 6Music sounds better, is better recognised and you understand the listenership better.

    Please, I implore you KEEP 6MUSIC - and keep it as 6MUSIC.

    Thanks you for listening.

    Right now, I'm listening to the brilliant Marc Riley handing over to the brilliant Gideon Coe - clearly you don't get this, but we do and we remunerated you a total of £403,000 last year - I think we deserve a little more respect.

    Nothing personal but you just don't get it.

  • Comment number 67.

    Mr Davie,

    You link to your previous blog entry as outlining the rationale behind the 6 Music closure. I would invite you to follow that link yourself, and look at the words beneath your post. That is traditionally where one would find comments and queries about the content of the blog post. But that's not all; it has been designed so that the blog author can leave comments too! This simple but elegant design allows people to discuss or debate an article, or even just seek clarification of certain points, should there be anything they feel could do with more explanation, in the hope that the author is paying attention.

    Seriously. You, Mr Thompson and Ms Thomson have entirely failed to answer a single query from people such as myself, who have asked politely and patiently for information and clarification on the proposals. I say patiently, though will concede that this is at odds with the tone of this missive. Simply put, given that we are now 6 weeks and half-way through the consultation period, and yet to have any call for two-way debate on the issue answered, my patience is starting to run dry.

    To have had each of you point out that you have nothing further to add to the reasoning in the document, but stand by it nonetheless, is truly insulting. It seems to suggest that we simply don't get it; that our concerns don't even merit a thought-out response. Each of you has emphasized the point that wherever cuts are made they would be unpopular, as though you think of us as children throwing our toys out of the pram, rather than intelligent, articulate adults who question not the principles of the review, but the fundamental contradictions inherent in the proposed implementation.

    We understand what you are trying to achieve. Closing - or otherwise diluting in any way - 6 Music will achieve exactly the opposite. Once you understand that, we will be on the way to a proposal that merits consieration.

  • Comment number 68.

    While I am really glad to hear that there is not a plan to rebrand a limited version of Radio 6 as Radio 2 extra, I am finding my trust in the BBC eroded on a daily basis. Given the limited level of savings that would be made by destroying such a fantastic radio station, I still have not heard anything from BBC representatives that has properly explained why they think it is a good idea. Why build up such a great, and well loved, radio station - only to destroy it. It is now the only service by the BBC left that I really love, if it is removed I will retreat to the computer and opt to lose my television rather than continue to pay the licence fee.

  • Comment number 69.

    What is it about 6music which makes it so dispensible? Is it low listening figures? I know people who don't listen because they don't have access to digital radio and I also know people who have invested in a digital radio just to be able to access 6. Maybe it should have been more widely available and more widely promoted? It would seem a strange decision to push ahead with closure given the public response? Come on Thomo - be a hero - or was that the plan all along?

  • Comment number 70.

    It's obviously not about listener numbers as, for some bizarre reason, the BBC is telling those of us who listen to 6Music to tune in to another station that will provide similar content.

    Name ONE - just one - that comes close....

    And as for the argument that the 6Music demographic impacts on that of commercial radio, what about those who sit in this age group who don't want to listen to the output of said radio stations?

    The BBC is PUBLIC SERVICE broadcasting. Why can't the Trust realise that the output of 6Music serves a PUBLIC need and, therefore, provides value for money? THwere was a recent report stating that figures for digital-only stations are disappointing as the uptake on DAB radios has been slow. How much promotion of the BBC's digital-only RADIO stations has there been in comparison to BBC3 (Lord knows how this is still considered viable and value for money!) and BBC4 (to a certain extent the tv equivalent of 6Music - something outside the box and defined as 'quality' broadcasting).

    For once, the licence payer should be listened to. 6Music might not have the heavyweight broadcasters such as Chris Evans or the vastly overrated, bearded 'Saviour of Radio One' - but makes up for that with QUALITY programming and presenters who actually appear to care about their shows and those listening.

    Now, come on Lauren and Steve, win the Sonys and show those in the Gin Palace that they have made a wrong decision!

  • Comment number 71.

    Still silence from the top brass. They are probably preparing tomorrow's statement to the press entitled "We listened. 6Music is saved".

  • Comment number 72.

    Your unconditional use of the term legacy would only be true if the decision to close the station is final. This is untrue as you well know, the consultation process can reverse your decision.

    You say that rebranding is not in your plans. This implies that you actually have some plans for the future. These would certainly be essential to a properly informed public debate that must take place about this decision, yet you have not seen fit to provide these plans. You are quite happy to hide behind them in your own defence, which you must see is dishonest.

    The practice of unattributable leaking to the press is an unpleasant practice of politicians, not appropriate for conducting such a debate and an attempt to manipulate the consultation process. If you wish to do anything about this, you should state who was responsible (especially as you would be one of the obvious candidates) if you know who it is.

    You bring shame on this great British institution by showing such contempt for the processes supposed to sustain it.

  • Comment number 73.

    Tim Looking at the comments it would seem clear you are well short of the mark in your understanding of what the public want - not one comment in agreement to your warped views? Looking forward to the invite to have a proper public debate rather than hiding behind blogs. Can I request a personal hearing to debate this issue and understand exactly which station you believe replicates what 6 music is doing. I can make anytime that suits you!!!!

  • Comment number 74.

    Comparemyradio.com proves that 6Music provides a service far beyond that of any other radio station, both in the quantity and the originality of what's being played. Why would you want to take that unique service away from its listeners???






  • Comment number 75.

    Two quotes from the review that seem to fit in perfectly with the ethos of 6Music:

    "The BBC’s mission to ‘make the popular good and the good popular’ should continue."

    The BBC "should focus even more than it does today on forms of content that most clearly build public value and which are most at risk of being ignored or under-invested in by commercial players. ... See More
    Prioritising quality over quantity whenever a choice is required"

    6Music has proven that it is popular and that's it is good. It offers public value because it costs less to run than three TV celebrities. The content is very much at risk of being ignored and under-invested in by commercial players. It offers quality output.

  • Comment number 76.

    Mr Davie,

    I am very grateful that the rumours about the 'rebranding' of 6Music as R2Extra are unfounded. Phew! That's a relief.

    The tone of your blog above does however not seem to take account of the tide of consternation your proposals have caused. Rather Canute-like, your manta is 'consultation/closure' as though one automatically follows the other. I can't quite see how this fits with the BBC ideal of public accountability - and it makes the BBC Trust redundant.

    Thousands of licence payers have registered a protest against the closure of 6Music, but you still stand on the beach, your impeccable shoes getting sandy and wet, behaving rather as though our opinions don't actually matter at all.

    It's as though you think that if you keep repeating your demographic/rebranding jargonese we'll all pack up and go home.

    Nah. Sorry. We've all seen Strictlycomehotterthanmydaughterrainbow and found it wanting. No- more than that- brain-numbingly terrifying.

    We like 6Music, and R3 and R4 and some BBC2 and BBC4, and have neither the money nor the inclination to lobotomise ourselves so that we find what YOU think we should be watching and listening to acceptable.

    Personally I rarely watch TV and could do without it, and as a protest I'd be quite prepared to ditch it.
    I get constant begging letters from a Mr Murdoch trying to sell me his 'products'. They find a home in the recycling bag.

    The BBC is a valued part of culture in this country and has an enviable reputation, if you think it's merely a 'product' to be rebranded can I respectfully suggest you seek employment at NewsCorp where you might be more at home?


  • Comment number 77.

    Hey Tim, dapperdanielle is spot on, as are the other commentators.

    Could I suggest, like her, that something fitting your mindset better than the BBC could be found here: http://tinyurl.com/y3vqbpe

  • Comment number 78.

    It is important that any proposals such as the closure of 6Music are only made when the decision makers have a complete set of facts in front of them.
    I do a TV & Radio survey every day for a company called GFK (Growth from Knowledge) that I am 95% sure is paid for by the BBC because of the slant that supplementary questions take. Of course, I can't prove this and it may be that the surveys are paid for by a number of organisations and that the BBC is only one of them.
    With regard to the radio survey, all of the BBC radio stations from Radio 1 through to 5 Live and also my local BBC radio station are there, but not the digital stations. So, if the survey is used by the BBC and it isn't asking about the digitals, how can the BBC claim to know the audience figures with any degree of accuracy?
    I usually listen to 6Music at least once a day and I would listen to it more often if I could listen to it while I am driving (but not many cars have DAB radios, do they?). Because the digital stations aren't included in the survey, I can't include any of my 6Music listening so my entries to the radio survey are incomplete and any decisions that are made using that data are equally flawed.
    It makes me mad. Grrrrrr!

  • Comment number 79.

    Mr. Davie,

    P L E A S E L E A V E 6 M U S I C A L O N E .

  • Comment number 80.

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

  • Comment number 81.

    Dear BBC Board. If you have used listener figures that would not stand up to the scrutiny of an independent audit in order to justify closure of 6Music and Asian Network we will find out. And it will reflect badly on the corporation.

    It's Thursday, two days before thousands of music fans across the country gather at independent record stores. Can you imagine how positive it would be if the BBC make their announcement that 6Music is safe by then? All that free advertising. All that free goodwill towards the organisation.

    Alternatively, me and many of my fellow campaigners will be out in force giving music fans flyers with details of how they can join the growing campaign.

    It's a good time to have some good news. Oh and it looks like the Tories are not getting in, so you don't have to worry about them. It'll be a Lib-Lab coalition.

  • Comment number 82.

    Hi Tim

    It must be annoying to have your will questioned so loudly and vehemently. Now is the time to show good grace and humility and announce that 6music is safe. No one will think the worse of you, quite the contrary. Continuing to peddle the same wrong-headed arguments in support of closure is doing you and the BBC a great disservice. Fundamentally, you are on the wrong side of this argument - 6music is precisely the kind of service that the BBC is funded to provide. Quit this while you are behind.

    Your

    AVL

  • Comment number 83.

    6 Music is a unique offering and should not be cut. As some posts above have said, there is an assumption that if you get rid of it, its listeners will instead listen to the commercial alternatives - but there ARE no commercial alternatives. The stuff that is played on 6, especially by Stuart McConie, Jarvis Cocker and Cerys Matthews, is not accessible anywhere else.

    Please reconsider the plans to close 6 music: it's doing something that no other station does.

  • Comment number 84.

    I'm assuming my last comment was moderated due to the fact that I associate the decision with party politics, Paul Dacre and Rupert Murdoch.

    No bad language, in it, just the way many people see it.

  • Comment number 85.

    Oh dear "love6music", I hope you've not suggested that the BBC is not independent have you? Their review clearly says that the BBC must be independent and not influenced by commercial pressures. Then it goes on to say that it cannot provide content that suffocates the commercial market. Er, oh, sorry, that doesn't make sense.

    Anyway it goes on to say that quality not quantity should count and defend their decision to close 6Music because, though it is a quality station, its listenership is disappointing in its quantity.

    Er, well anyway, at least they have clarified their position on 6Music. It's going to be merged into other radio output, it's not going to be merged into other output, it's going to be axed completely and no decision has been made yet (apart from the decision to close 6Music) so they will review their decision or not once the Trust has reported back, possibly.

    Honestly, I have no idea why there's so much confusion. I don't think the BBC could have spelt out their intentions any less....sorry, I mean, more, clearly or not.

  • Comment number 86.

    Nice to know that there is "no" truth in the unpopular and utterly daft idea of rebranding 6Music as a part-time 2 Extra; shame the unpopular and utterly daft idea of axing 6Music still stands.

    I also note that your denial that 6Music will be rebranded as 2 Extra does not preclude the establishment of a 2 Extra incorporating the redeployed "some 6 Music programming" you mention. In other words you could well be planning a 12-hours day 2 Extra, just not filled with half of 6Music's current content.

    Finally, your statement that "simply rebranding 6 Music as Radio 2 Extra is not one of our plans" implies that you DO have other plans – what are they? why are we not being told?

  • Comment number 87.

    I’ve just been perusing the details of the meeting held between the BPI, UK Music, record company executives and the BBC Trust yesterday, published in Music Week. It makes for interesting reading – apparently the industry echo our sentiments precisely. The same arguments, the same points about no viable commercial alternative, inability of the BBC’s mainstream stations to incorporate the output, breeding ground for new talent. That sort of thing.

    But also, importantly, the plea to treat 6Music with the same respect accorded to Radio 3. For too long, non-classical music enthusiasts (and I use that term to differentiate us from casual ‘pop’ music listeners who just use it as a background) have been treated as inferior, as if we’re somehow all weirdo students and spotty teenagers who will mature to appreciate the delights of Wagnerian opera or the latest avant-garde piece by a modern composer. Or that we listen to ‘pop’ singles on Radio 1 until we’re thirty, then suddenly develop a taste for Barbra Streisand and Jamie Cullim and shift our allegiances to Radio 2 until we shuffle off this mortal coil.

    All we wanted was one station that would take popular music a bit more seriously, that played obscure artists and tracks, that enlightened us with unsigned or up and coming bands, that delved into the treasure trove of BBC archive recordings – presented by broadcasters with that same passion for music, rather than celebrity ‘plugging’ guests and gossip, traffic info and discussing what was on TV with their inane ‘posses’. This was one of the main reasons things went apoplectic when the lamentable George Lamb was installed on the station.

    But that was one regrettable incident. Yet you are proposing to remove the one beacon of popular music culture on British radio. Without apparently a single clue in your heads as to whether any of the output will survive or even where it might be located. I just cannot fathom the logic – other than you wish to be known in perpetuity as the Beeching of British radio.

    Please enlighten me as to your logic.

  • Comment number 88.

    For those of you looking for justifications for keeping 6Music, the BBC themselves couldn't have put it better.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/1866554.stm

    In an attempt to open the debate (exact why these here blogs exist) I thought I'd copy my email to the BBC Board. They haven't given me a response yet. Perhaps they can do it here?

    A quote from your own review if I may;

    "There is no place in [the BBC] for censorship or bias.....
    Making the BBC the most open and responsive public institution in the UK"

    So why are you refusing to be open and responsive to public criticism?
    Why are you not engaging those who write with genuine concerns and need answers to points raised by BBC Management?
    What exactly are those "similar" radio stations
    that John Tate mentioned to the Lords?

    Also in your review you said that the BBC "should focus even more than it does today on forms of content that most clearly build public value and which are most at risk of being ignored or under-invested in by commercial players. Prioritising quality over quantity whenever a choice is required"

    I can't think of any "similar" commercial stations which suggests that the BBC should focus on content like 6Music and
    if "prioritising quality over quantity" is your objective, why have listener numbers (or more bizarrely, unique listening figures)
    been raised as a reason to get rid of 6Music. Eastenders is of very poor artistic quality but I don't see that being axed.

    Can you see why us campaigners are getting so very annoyed with the BBC? No commercial organisation in the world would
    treat its customers like this, as Mr Davie knows from his Coca Cola re-branding experiences. So it is utterly inexcusable that a
    publicly funded organisation should be acting in this way.

    Once again, this is not a matter for referral to The Trust. None of us now actually know what is now being proposed,
    so how can we respond to it?

    If you are not willing to interact with your paymasters then the campaign will continue and the BBC's shortcomings will no doubt continue
    to be aired in public. Much to the embarrasment of the organisation. I don't really have the time or energy to keep hounding you until
    I get a response, but I care so much about the BBC and, in particular, 6Music, that I have no other option.

    Alternatively, there's still time for a face-saving announcement.

    I await your responses to that notion and the specific queries raised, in fact, I would expect nothing less from
    "the most open and responsive public institution in the UK"

  • Comment number 89.

    I do not accept the reasons that have been cited that 6 Music should close: firstly the statement that 6 Music damages commercial competitors, the commercial sector has since made it clear that there is no commercial rival to 6 Music and the closure will do little to help to commercial broadcasters. Secondly and slightly contradictory that 6 Music is a small niche service with about 700,000 listeners and the bbc can not justify the costs (about 9 million annually) to run the station. To answer this there is another niche national radio service that the BBC operate called Radio 1 Extra which only has about 500,000 listeners and costs more to run, so why close one niche service and not the other? Also if you look at the television service the BBC provide with BBC3 that costs much more per listener and produces shows of the sort ‘hotter than my daughter’ and ‘snog marry avoid?’. Thirdly the argument that because the average age of the listener is 37 this again puts them in direct competition with the commercial sector. This is a completely false and unsophisticated argument, 6 Music is a specialist service providing non mainstream content. If there was a Welsh language programme produced and the average age of the listener/viewer was 37 would this then place the programme in direct competition with the commercial market?



    Related to the last point and being 36 years of age myself I am angered by the BBC apparently abandoning my age group to the commercial sector, if The BBC are not going to provide content for my age group does that mean I can get a rebate on my licence fee?

  • Comment number 90.

    This is very good news! http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/apr/15/save-bbc-6-music

    When will this man listen and save us the further expense of the Trust consultation, call the Trust and save 6Music.

    Davie, Thomson and Thompson you are lone voices.

  • Comment number 91.

    Watch Miranda Sawyer's passionate appeal and follow the 3 steps at www.love6music.com

    Thank you.

  • Comment number 92.

    Tim, I've just realised, you are a marketing genius!

    6Music is now a niche iconic brand as a result of your stunt!

    It was a sunt? yeah? Surely!

    Genius work. Now just make the announcement it's staying.

  • Comment number 93.

    Mr Davie - Nearly 100 responses and not one supporting you OH DEAR!! Does this press release from the BPI not sum up the truth perfectly - you have it soooo wrong don't you? :

    " Tony Wadsworth, the chairman of the BPI, speaking on behalf of the delegation. "BBC 6 Music has significant cultural worth and public value that you can't measure by audience numbers alone, and it provides programming that commercial radio does not."

    The BPI delegation met BBC Trust executives including chairman Sir Michael Lyons and head of performance Mark Wakefield.

    They pointed out that BBC 6 Music is an excellent example of the corporation's "public service mission in action" because it provides music that the "commercial radio does not and could not realistically provide".

    "BBC 6 Music plays an important role in the cultural life and knowledge of the nation, since it exposes an audience of all ages to music they simply do not hear elsewhere," said the BPI in a joint statement. "Accommodating 6 Music programming on Radio 1 or 2 would not deliver the same benefits as 6 Music. New and niche music would end up relegated to late-night or low-profile slots."

  • Comment number 94.

    I'm still completely flabbergasted that the BBC would even consider closing down 6Music. It is a gem, and it should be treated as such. I'd be lost without this wonderful station. Please come to your senses and save 6Music!

  • Comment number 95.

    10 reason why closing 6Music is a bad idea:

    1. It will deprive a loyal,passionate and growing audience of the music they love.
    2. The money saved will be paltry and cant be better spent on other stations.
    3. No commercial broadcaster offers a comparable service.
    4. 6Music fits perfectly with the BBC’s mission statetement to educate inform and entertain.
    5. The station supports the British music industry and the cultural life of the nation by fostering new talent and playing old music that would otherwise be forgotten.
    6. Fitting the content in elsewhere will alienate listeners to those stations which have distinctive content and their own loyal listeners.
    7. The BBC Trust likes 6Music saying that “its appeal should be clarified and strengthened”.
    8. The Radio industry likes 6Music: 11 Sony nominations last year.
    9. The BPI likes the station: it “plays an important role in the cultural life and knowledge of the nation, since it exposes an audience of all ages to music they simply do not hear elsewhere".
    10. BBC executives cant justify the closure or explain their plans properly (Mr Davie this means you) and they continually contradict themselves eg John Tate said the BBC should "focus on areas that build overall public value, and that are most at risk of being ignored or under-invested in elsewhere". This sounds like support for 6Music! Caroline Thompson said not enough people listen but if more listened it would be too popular!

  • Comment number 96.

    All top BBC talent supports saving 6Music

    From the brilliant Chris Addison (Thick of it, In The Loop and much more) here one of his less furious recent feeds from Twitter:

    "@mrchrisaddison: Love 6Music? Want to keep it? Take 5 mins to fill in the form here: www.bbc6music.info #save6music"

    Take a look at his angrier tweets. You can see how angry people are. If you close 6Music your BBC career and reputation is over. I can just see Lucy Adams working out right now how she manages you out of the organisation. I know just how experienced she is at this.

    You can change this. Become a hero to BBC radio listeners. Show us we matter and call a press conference of the steps of B.H. now to announce that you've been overwhelmed by listener support for 6Music and you are saving 6Music.

    Don't change the brand. This debacle had made 6Music an iconic brand.

  • Comment number 97.

    I'm glad that these rumours of re-branding 6 Music as 2 Extra are false. As others have pointed out and as is clearly evident from the reaction to the proposed closure, 6 Musci has a well established and respected, nay, *loved* brand. What value to the license fee payer would spending a load of money discarding that brand and developing another represent? None, surely.

    Come on, pretty much every possible stakeholder in the debate about the future from the listeners to the music industry to the artists and even the politicians has come out against the closure and there has not been a single convincing argument put forward for the closure. The arguments that have been made for the closure have all been easily refuted as you can see from almost any forum where this has been discussed and you can no doubt see from the tsunami of responses to the trust.

    Please give up these ill-conceived closure plans.

  • Comment number 98.

    Hey Tim. We're still waiting for a response.

    Have you ever actually listened to 6Music? You should try it, it's great. Lauren Laverne was talking about Laurie Anderson earlier on today. Still, when you close 6Music as you clearly have to, I'm sure Chris Evans, Ken Bruce, Jeremy Vine, Steve Wright, Zoe Ball, Sarah Kennedy and the rest of the gang on Radio 2 will play tracks by her; maybe seguing between the sublime Summer Camp and wonderful Piney Gir, two artists I only know of and support because of 6Music.

    Maybe, between adverts for double glazing and cars, the likes of Xfm, Absolute, Heart etc. will be lining up to talk about and play tracks by a critically acclaimed avant-garde artist. As a 35 year old, I seem to fall in their target demographic and, seeing as I like Laurie Anderson, it seems only realistic to expect them to cater for my needs. I'm a fan of Luc Ferrari as well, maybe they will stop repeating the same 20 songs and play excerpts from Far West News Vol 1. And Summer Camp, and Piney Gir, naturally.

    Hey, if you get 100 comments, do you have to do something special? Go on, you know you want to. Now justify your £400k+ salary and take time to understand what we're passionate about, and ask yourself if 1Xtra and BBC Three get the same level of passion.

  • Comment number 99.

    Mr. Davie - I am amazed that you state that rebranding is not in your plans yet you won't tell us what these plans are. The BBC just doesn't appear able to rationalise this decision in the face of such public uproar. We've asked questions, intelligently and respectfully, yet you still refuse to answer.

    I initially sympathised with you. I thought you'd recognise that you had made a mistake and act to rectify the situation quickly but instead you've persevered with a plan that no-one supports. It's a plan that could decimate UK music-making. BUT there is still time. Tomorrow is the ideal day to tell the world that the BBC supports independent music and emerging artists.

    A stubborn man is an unpopular man but, Tim, here's your chance to be a hero.

  • Comment number 100.

    Mr Davie,

    I don't wish to beg, but for the sake of the future health of arts & culture in the UK and the commitment of the BBC to the licence payer, please open your eyes to the benefits of 6Music, listen to your customers and commit to keeping this invaluable service open.
    I can't begin to describe the pleasure and entertainment that 6Music has brought me over the years, not to mention the BBC brand loyalty this carries with it.

    Please do the right thing and preserve 6Music.

    Thank you.

 

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