Playing: Overture (The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) K 620) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
BBC Radio 3

A new schedule for Radio 3 at the weekend

Controller, Radio 3

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So the Last Night of the BBC Proms is behind us, the Summer is over and the new concert year and a new BBC-wide film music season begin.

It always feels to me like the start of a new term.

It has been terrific to hear and read all the acclaim that the Proms festival has received and I give huge thanks on behalf of our audience to all of my colleagues who worked so hard to deliver such a successful festival, not least the range of our broadcasting and interactive offer.

On Radio 3 the live music continues and is expanded in our weekend schedule changes which we are announcing this week.

Radio 3 is playing its part in the BBC's savings plans and so our changes are the result of our having to work with a reduced budget and more limited resources.

However, we are keen to protect the range of what we do and these weekend schedule changes have given us the chance to increase our live in concert offer on Saturdays and Sundays. We have also taken the opportunity to help with the clarity and consistency of the scheduling, not least our jazz programmes on Saturday.

I have, quite understandably, received from our committed jazz listeners feedback that our live opera scheduling makes it hard to know when the jazz programmes are on and sometimes they get knocked out of the schedule altogether. Our new Saturday schedule gives Jazz Record Requests a fixed slot and brings Jazz Line-Up back into daytime.

There are though, sadly, losses. For example, World Routes is a terrifically distinctive programme but it is costly with all the foreign travel and so we are giving it a break, leaving World on 3 to continue to reflect global artists and topics in this music genre. The Early Music Show will also be reduced by one programme but will make way for a new lunchtime concert slot at 1pm.

There will also be a new Saturday programme about film music, presented by Matthew Sweet. This will come off the back of our film music season called Sound of Cinema, which will be the name of the new programme. We decided to create a film music programme to reflect the increasing interest in film music. So, we will have more live music and the weekend schedule will have a new look and feel to it. There will be many who will look forward to the new concert slots, the film show and a clarified jazz offering. Inevitably you can’t please everybody and of course whenever you make a change there will be those who disagree about our other output changing its broadcast times (such as moving Drama on 3 later). Drama on 3 will sit in a slot which we know attracts audiences for speech content. It is a slot that drama on Radio 3 has been in before. I hope that you continue to find much to enjoy and I look forward to hearing your responses to the programmes over the next few months.

Roger Wright, Controller, BBC Radio 3 and Director, BBC Proms

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