BBC Radio 4
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Bill Oddie, John Cleese, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Jo Kendall, Graeme Garden and David Hatch (Producer)
from "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again", 1968

Controllers of Radio 4 do not change their schedules lightly.

Their listeners tend to want to keep what they have and are doubtful whether any change will be for the better.

David Hatch was a much loved and successful controller 30 years ago but when he died he had "Rollercoaster" engraved on his heart. He had introduced a rolling schedule that soon steam-rollered over him.

His successor Michael Green had the temerity to move Woman's Hour to the morning and faced strident rebellions both inside and outside Broadcasting House.

He held his nerve and in the end won through, though he has scars to show for it.

However, after 25 years, even some of the producers and Jenni Murray herself now acknowledge that he was right to make the move.

In Feedback this week I talked to the Head of Planning and Scheduling at Radio 4 Tony Pilgrim about the changes.

What will audiences make of the latest changes which see the World at One extended by 15 minutes to 1.45pm and several half hour programmes, such as Feedback, moved elsewhere?

I am sure we will soon find out. You can find more details of the changes elsewhere on the Radio 4 blog.

Also this week I went to Salford to meet the BBC's boss of local radio, David Holdsworth. We discussed the planned cuts in his output which have resulted from the Delivering Quality First process.

Already there have been protests online, it's been raised in Westminster and at Broadcasting House in London.

St Paul's is not the only august institution under siege.

I took with me a passionate fan of Radio Shropshire, Andy Boddington.

Please let us know what you want Feedback to look into, and remember, the BBC Trust's consultation on Delivering Quality First ends on December 21st.

Make sure your voice is heard.

Roger Bolton presents Feedback


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  • Comment number 2. Posted by newlach

    on 8 Nov 2011 22:19

    This story of cuts to BBC local radio has been greatly exaggerated. David Holdsworth pointed out that Radio Shropshire will still have local output between 6am and 7pm, with the exception of only one hour. Perhaps, the problem is that Holdsworth has taken a decision to retain 40 "high quality" buildings rather than look for suitable buildings? I am unaware of the nature of the buildings from which BBC local radio operate, but if any of these buildings are excessively grand or are situated in prime locations it could raise important questions about Holdsworth's judgement.

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  • Comment number 1. Posted by jaqui

    on 6 Nov 2011 11:07

    This is in regard to music. Earlier in the year the people being interviews said the were "listening". Considering what is being played during Frozen Planet and Being Human amongst other new programmes they obviously weren't. The frozen planet should have lots of silences as David Attenborough seemed to appreciate - why can't we. Could we at least come to some agreement that music should not be played when someone is speaking. Poor Alice Roberts doesn't realise she has to speak so loud just to be heard. The trailers for Frozen Planet consist mainly of music!!

    A thought to save money is not to hand out bottled water to all guests and contestants such as Come Dancing! There's nothing wrong with tap water.

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