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The Salford move and the latest RAJARs


We're now halfway through the move of 5 live programmes from London to Salford. At the moment we are broadcasting 12 hours a day from Salford and 12 hours a day from London and by the end of November the move will be fully completed. It's gone as smoothly as we could have hoped so far with very few problems on air and we're already beginning to get a sense of the possibilities of our new home.

We've already covered a number of major news stories from Salford including the death of Colonel Gaddafi and the resignation of Liam Fox - I'd be surprised if anyone can point to differences in our coverage of these stories as a result of being in Salford rather than West London.

Meanwhile we've continued to be on the spot for major stories as they happen - presenting Drive from Dale Farm last week and Westminster and Brussels this week, while Dotun Adebayo presented Up All Night from the scene of the Occupy the City protests outside St Paul's Cathedral.

The youth unemployment discussion on Drive a couple of weeks ago and the male voice choir on Tony Livesey's programme both gave a sense of how we are starting to use our new studios to the full.

The latest RAJAR numbers for the three months of July, August and September show we're in good health as we make the move. The most exciting thing is that the audience to 5 live Sports Extra has risen to record levels reaching an average of 1.2 million people a week, driven I'm sure by very high levels of listening to the England v India Test series. The number of listeners to 5 live was 6.24 million - so it's stayed above the 6 million mark for nearly three years now.

The summer quarter in years with no World Cup or Olympics is traditionally a relatively low one because much of the period falls outside the football season but this number is our third highest ever for this period. Total listening to 5 live and 5 live Sports Extra was 6.43 million - that's steady on the year although down 0.27million on the quarter.

RAJAR reports contain lots of information which we'll be analysing over the coming days. One thing we're particularly interested in is increasing the average hours per listener per week, which currently stands at just over 7 hours a week. In a quarter when overall BBC radio listening hours at their highest level since 2008, we're working hard to make sure we keep improving 5 live by offering programmes which people want to listen to for longer.

Related Links

BBC Press Office: BBC Radio listening highest for three years


Adrian Van Klaveren is the controller of BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC 5 Live Sports Extra.


  • Comment number 1.

    You forget to mention that the listening figures are down again, 4.7% on the previous quarter and 0.9% year-on-year – 'good health'?

    I think the reduction in the number of sports rights is becoming an issue such as last Sunday’s Manchester Derby and the recent Rugby World Cup.

    Can we have some further explanation of how DQF will affect 5 live’s output such as the welcome re-focusing 'on core output of news and sport', is this going to lead to an end of the dumbing down, and the increased entertainment, trivia and celebrity content we have seen during your time as controller?

  • Comment number 2.

    Clearly some spin and/or delusion here. If you expect us to believe you are in "good health" how do you expect us to believe anything else that follows? But there is, at least, an admittance that the station's ratings are driven solely by football.

    The move..."has gone as smoothly as we hoped..." We don't think so. There will be increased absenteeism as presenters commute (daily) from London, more vast empty studios, links outside "the worst building in the country" that go nowhere and the sound and feel dominated by Manc. accents, until it is little more than a regional station; the kind the BBC are doing away with.

    But if you are happy to see the figures continue to slide just carry-on with the same tired format.

  • Comment number 3.

    Adrian, Firstly thank you for blogging on these two key issues.

    Posts #1 and #2 highlight issues that concern many of us. However, we must appreciate the Salford move was not your decision and it is a near impossible challenge (the cracks "down the line" are showing). I for one wish you well and the time to bed the station into its new home, gradually refresh the output, increase its quality and return the station to increased audiences.

  • Comment number 4.

    It's ironic that Dale Farm and St Paul's are so near to your old HQ. So did we pay for all the hotel and travel expenses for coverage? There were/are enough tv reporters you could have used to save money.And who pays for people such as Brendan Cole and Lulu to appear in Salford studios on the morning of dress rehearsals in London?

    My great fury (yes!!) is the North West bias against virtually anywhere else when you need an expert. Salford university is 97th in UK rankings and yet is called on for all sorts of comment. Estate agents, gossip columnists, experts in all sorts, all from the Manchester region. Please tell me how this corresponds to a national radio station, BBC North? How is everyone else ever going to contribute from any other region. And before we hear that of course coverage of national events is top priority.....Dale Farm etc., I want to hear from everywhere else, not just on phone ins where YOU make a deliberate choice of contributor when they are talked to by researchers before being chosen.

    Let's just be honest. This is becoming BBC Radio North West, and blow the rest of the country. It is becoming the football channel, mainly news from - oh, Manchester. Rugby World Cup? No, no-one up here cares about rugby, we love United and City. BBC Sports Personality? From Salford.

  • Comment number 5.

    The whole scenario of the move, the impending Olympics (in London mostly) ... the home of the government and where informed comment will come from ... it's just absolute nonsense.

    Interesting item on The Guardian website today concerning disasterous listening figures for R3: "No one from the BBC ever admits they have got it wrong!"

  • Comment number 6.

    @Jackstumps, you make a good point referring to R3, another Guardian article earlier this month could have been discussing 5 live:

    "phone-ins, celebrity guests, follow-me-on-Facebook, texting and tweeting: welcome to the BBC's premier cultural network!"

    Radio 3's controller, "Mr Wright has imported all the tricks of popular, downmarket broadcasting to help win over a new audience."

    "In order to be less "intimidating", Radio 3 has lowered its intellectual standards."

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi Adrian, when are the sports programmes moving to Manchester?

    And are any shows staying in London, such as Danny Baker or Declan Curry's weekend shows? Presumablly there will be a London studio where people like John Motson will contribute to the Monday Night Club from?

  • Comment number 8.

    Another drop in 5live listeners again.The message is obviously still not getting through.How long does it take before 5live management realise we are sick to death of hearing tiresome stand up comedians and about celebrities and reality tv ? Get back to serious news reporting instead of giggly and light weight radio and get some new faces instead of the usual smug ego's.It doesn't take too much working out.

  • Comment number 9.

    I expect us licence fee payers paid for Butlers in the Buff. Rachel Hodges is going to daytime radio, not retiring at 60 to a country cottage. Having seen some of the expenses the BBC were forced to publish for their retirement gifts, awayday training courses and so on, and now this, I would like to ask WHY?

  • Comment number 10.

    From Adrian Van Klaveren >>

    Thanks for the comments and questions - let me try to pick out the key issues. On the move to Salford, it's still very much work in progress. Sports programmes will move to Salford from 21 November - also the date that 5 live Breakfast begins here. So by that time the entire core of the station - live news and sports programmes - will all be based in Salford.

    Certain individual programmes will stay in London, such as Danny Baker's Saturday programme, Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film Review and John Pienaar's political programme on a Sunday night. We will still have many contributors from London and elsewhere for programmes such as the Monday Night Club.

    We will use experts from the north west when appropriate but equally we will make sure we draw on experts and examples from all parts of the UK - we are a national radio station and we have every intention of remaining so. What I do hope the move brings is a greater diversity of voices and stories than has ever been heard before on a national station.

    We've tried to tailor the changes under Delivering Quality First to ensure that we remain true to the station's key objectives - offering fast, flexible and informed coverage of breaking news, high quality live sports coverage and journalism, a place for the national debate on key issues and a station which is warm, informal and closely connected with its audience with an agenda which is broad and relevant to people's lives. We need to save money in certain areas - for example moving to single commentators for football matches and ending the 11am Sunday comedy slot and we propose to reduce the amount we spend in certain parts of the schedule such as overnight.

    The BBC Trust is currently consulting on the Delivering Quality First proposals - the online consultation is open until December if you'd like to have your say: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/consult/delivering_quality_first.shtml

  • Comment number 11.

    Adrian on the Single Commentators, would it not be fair to say that using 1 instead of 2 Commentators simply is an easy, Cheap way to show you are DQF, did you not think that actually the 2 Commentator format is actually something which many lsiteners appreciate, and they gain more into match listening to 2 different opinions rather than 1,imo you are will be cutting down the quality of football Commentaries on 5live with this move, who wants to listen to Alan Green for a full Game?

    Also how will this work in practice, this change will not be fully implemented until 2014, why is that? Surely if you are commited to driving down costs and imo Quality then why wait a few years, it seems abit of a red Herring.

    Finally you use 2 summarisers for Major football finals, and England Games, will that change also?

  • Comment number 12.

    5LSE: TMS with one commentator and a guest.

    Could you cut down on three people doing Tony Livesey every night? The two others seem to take on quite a bit of the presenting.

    Could you cut out all that rubbish on Bacon that requires a three person panel to Help!

    Could you cut out the music review from Victoria's programme? It is irrelevant when you have so many music channels.

  • Comment number 13.

    TV 'critic' Boyd Hilton from Heat magazine travelling from London to Salford for a 20 minute TV review segment during Bacon, surely a waste of money especially when he seems to like every TV show? I agree with Carrie regarding Help and the Monday Music Review, they have no place on a news and sport station.

    I don't think anybody will miss the Sunday 'comedy' slot, let's hope we get something as good as FI Glover's Sunday Service in the future.

  • Comment number 14.

    By the way I was being ironic about TMS but if AVK decides to cut they will be in the same boat as the football commentary.

    Can we have Freedom of Information about weekly transport costs for these commuters, I heard Bacon moaning about being on trains alot so I suspect there are even more travellers than him.

    Totally and utterly expensive and ridiculous.

    AVK I do not hear much from contributors from the regions when it comes to requiring an expert. I stand by my opinion. Just the North West region suddenly being more expert than anywhere else.

  • Comment number 15.

    Intresting thing will be who will get to Commentate on the Major Finals and England Games, will it be Alan Green or Mike Ingham, the Chemistry between 2 Commentators is really good, it brings an added flavour to the Event, i really hope they change their minds on this, the cost of having 1 Commentator instead of 2 must be tiny, surely there are other things that can be cut instead of dismantling a frontline service.

  • Comment number 16.

    I agree with you Fedster. Cuts equal money saving, but cuts equals loss of quality.

  • Comment number 17.

    Over budget, late and in the middle of nowhere - a building described by the RIBA architects as somewhere "where no-one truely talented would work."

    It seems few have warmed to this almost exclusively NW love-in. "Chappers(!) to Livesey, Livesey to a Manc story...

    You've had your double-dip, and given the usual excuses - hot, cold, football, no football etc. It would seem that one or two more quarters of lost listeners will mean the decisions will be taken away from Klav and the rest. And of course people aren't going to listen for longer when you have Bacon in the middle of the schedule

  • Comment number 18.

    I agree withFedster too!! Gulp; and share Carrie's observations that 5 Live is morphing into BBC Radio North West with an over reliance/use of input from the 'experts' at Salford University. Let's hope that Bacon goes on extended paternity leave when the sleb baby finally arrives

  • Comment number 19.

    Slightly on a different topic, i have watched bits of different 5live shows live, and it is quite intriguing watching the Presenters present and all the different equipment they use, i thought it was really amusing watching Ian Payne present the Manchester Derby last week, the hand signs he and David Pleat were using was really funny, only 1 i got was Pleat making a T Sign with his Hands, how many Cups does he need?

    I would like to see a Blog on this, explaining what the different equipment does, and what is with all those hand signs.

    Anyone else intrsted by this?

  • Comment number 20.

    I'm all for one commentator on 5live football matches.There is only one commentator throughout on tv games so I hardly see how two commentators have been justified on 5live in the past.A luxury the BBC thankfully cannot now afford.

  • Comment number 21.

    You also don't need Poogie, "Chappers(!) etc. to be anywhere, saying "oh, looks like there might be a bit of rain; over to Alan."

  • Comment number 22.

    I would like to praise Fedster for drawing our attention to the blog about delivering quality first- This one

    In this blog we are told what changes the BBC Trust wants to be made at 5 live.

    The comedy programme on Sunday morning must go. That means the end of Nick Hancock's programme. There is another requirement that the BBC Trust makes. It wants the end of the early evening current affairs programme on Sunday. That is John Pienaar's programme.

    However, when you look at Nigel Smith's comment here, on this blog, he is assuming that John Pienaar is staying in his present slot.

    He is also assuming that Danny Baker's Saturday morning show stays and Simon Mayo's two hour film review on Friday afternoon stays.

    Personally, I think they are both entertainment shows.

    The good news for 5 live is that Talksport's listening figures are also lower.

  • Comment number 23.

    @Coreze, I think you are mistaken:

    "National sports radio station talkSPORT has seen a 5.8% increase in audience size over the last 12 months, according to the Q3/11 RAJAR data, and hit its highest ever reach for the 3-month summer period."


  • Comment number 24.

    Surely. surely, surely, this is now an opportunity to cleanse the station of Mr Bacon's celebfest in the afternoons. If the nonsense that supposedly "entertained" us on a Sunday is going then here is an opportunity to continue the trend!

  • Comment number 25.

    @ Jasmine. Thank you for your post. Talksport listening figures are down on the last quarter from 3212 thousand listeners to 3132 thousand listeners. 5 live is down from 6540 thousand last quarter to 6237 thousand this quarter. If you include 5 live sports extra, the fall is from 6.700 thousand last quarter to 6.431 thousand this quarter.

    Therefore both stations have lost listeners compared with last quarter,but 5 live has lost more. 6540 minus 6237 = 203 203 ÷ 6540 = 0.031 = 3.1 per cent

    For Talksport 3212 minus 3132 = 80 80÷ 3212 = 0.024 = 2.4 per cent

    In the article in radiotoday they are giving some year on year comparisons. However they show Talksport's breakfast show is down on the previous quarter.

    I don't see how they get a fall of 4.7 per cent for 5 live listening. Perhaps my figures are wrong somewhere.

  • Comment number 26.

    @arthur mee The thing about Richard Bacon is that he is a young man, in his thirties. Now don't let me be ageist, but.. Nick Hancock, Danny Baker, and Simon Mayo are all over fifty.

    There is only one female presenter at 5 live who is over fifty, i think. If we are going to have people of this age, let's have more women.

    Being over sixty myself, fifty is not old, but maybe it's old for 5 live. Remember they said that they wanted to attract young listeners in the blog when the last RAJARS were published?

  • Comment number 27.

    Carrie, Jasmine and one or two others are exhibiting typical parochial southern views that are we have come to expect.
    It may shock you to learn that Salford is not the only university north of the M25, Manchester alone has a student population of around 88,000 and many world renounced experts are from the North West This may sit unfortunately with you in your home counties world, but nevertheless the truth.
    So yes, there is much coverage of North West based sport, well maybe that is because Manchester City are the richest club in the World and could dominate for years, United the most successful in English history and one of the biggest in the World and Liverpool are not far behind. Then there is the cricket with Lancashire being County Champions, the Velodrome in Manchester and the many world class sports event that are hosted.
    As for travel, please, do me a favour! So nobody from 5Live traveled out of London previously (howabout to party conferences in, erm, Manchester!). Did all presenters lived local to the studio, I recall on more than one occasion presenters having issues due to problems on the M25, M40, Southern Trains, etc. Again, you will be shocked to learn that there is a reliable train service between Manchester and London (less that 2 hours travel time and at least 3 an hour) and a state of the art Light Railway service to Media City. Oh yes, and there is also a major international airport around 20 minutes from Media City. I regularly travel to Canary Wharf from a station around 30 miles south of Manchester (Crewe) and it takes 1 hour 35 to London and then at least a further hour (on a good day) for the short journey across London. So, I'm sorry but your argument is laughable at best.
    There is so much more that I could comment on but I really need to go and feed my whippets and I need to sort out the hole in the roof of my terraced house where the constant rain is coming in.
    PS - I think 5Live is a credit to the BBC and it's shame that cutbacks are required, but that is the sign of the times I am afraid.

  • Comment number 28.

    "PS - I think 5Live is a credit to the BBC"

    Ashley you are spot on, i have been trying to talk some sense into the anti 5live brigade in the past on this Blog, but their outlandish thoughts are so ingrained in their minds, that i have come to the conclusion that trying to convince them otherwise is akin to trying get a 40 a day, 15 year Smoker to give up Smoking.

  • Comment number 29.

    I should say in clarification what advantage Richard Bacon has over presenters aged over fifty, such as Simon Mayo and Danny Baker. Simply, Bacon is prepared to broadcast his programme from Salford. Simon Mayo and presumably Danny Baker, are not prepared to travel to Salford.

    Richard Bacon has other work, presumably based in London, but he goes to Salford. Nicky Campbell also has other work in London and he goes to Salford. Peter Allen also goes to Salford. He may also have business in London.

    There is room at 5 live for people over fifty, but I pick out Mayo and Baker as people who are less committed to 5 live than others.

  • Comment number 30.

    Well I have never voiced any oppostion to the previously Londoncentric 5live moving out from the south east but having achieved that obstacle I don't want it turning into a local corner stone of a Radio North West either.A much better location for a national news and sport radio station and would have been less expensive of a move would have been somewhere in the Midlands and therefore making the whole of the UK more accessable for reporting.

  • Comment number 31.

    GingerTompkins, interesting view and the Midlands is no doubt a decent location, Birmingham in particular is a very nice city.
    However, lets explore the view that the Midlands would make the whole of the UK more accessible for reporting and I've used my good friend Google to assist.

    Distance between Salford Quays and London = 208 miles
    Distance between Salford Quays and Edinburgh = 219 miles
    Distance between Salford Quays and Cardiff = 201

    As you can see I have chosen capital cities from countries that are part of the UK, just in case you'd got a little confused. Now, forgive me if I am wrong, but that actually looks like Salford Quays is quite central.
    Of course all these distances are via road, but if you don't like car travel then howabout air travel. Manchester has routes to all these locations and there is actually a railway station as well that goes all over the country, incredible, whatever will they think of next.

  • Comment number 32.


    I am commenting on the fact that as it is easy to have studio links all over the country, it would be nice to have experts from anywhere, not just the North West. Your pieces rather miss that point. I couldn't care less where the BBC move to, and I don't care who goes and who stays, wherever they already work. What I am concerned about is that the funding for this move is so immense that we are all going to notice the downturn in quality and quantity of new work offered by the BBC, just so that enormous sums are wasted on building a flash new HQ for BBC North, transporting presenters and guests, paying removal costs and also supporting those who choose, strangely, not to move when they actually are the boss of the station, in Radio 5's case. Not everyone is out and about during the day or even during the night, their viewing and listening is going to be cut.

    I believe it would be fantastic for the BBC to be inclusive, hear a Bristol accent, hear a Geordie, hear a Brummie, I am NOT talking about London. If you look back on anything I have ever posted about this move I have implored the BBC to widen its presenting areas, not shove Salford down our throats.

    Football may be the obsession in the North west but it isn't everything to everyone. Just imagine if the BBC lose any more broadcast rights to Talksport or another broadcaster............

    By the way, your sarcasm spoils your post, it sounds as if you have a chip placed somewhere on one of your shoulders.

  • Comment number 33.

    Yes I also didn't the appreciate the sarcasm but I suppose his condescending attitude says more about the chip he has obviously acquired on his shoulders than I ever could.Isn't it marvellous what you can get off google these days ?

  • Comment number 34.

    "Football may be the obsession in the North west but it isn't everything to everyone. Just imagine if the BBC lose any more broadcast rights to Talksport or another broadcaster............"

    I would imagine it would be a big blow, however they have got rights to enough other Sports to fill the airtime, and i think you will find a large chunck of people across the Country are obsessed with football, not just in the North west.

  • Comment number 35.

    While being pleased that 5live has moved out of London, I do sympathise with the staff having to work in that Salford montrousity of a building.What were they thinking of ?Because of the sheer ugliness of it,even the local mancs cub reporter would find looking for inspiration a real problem.lol

  • Comment number 36.

    I'm not totally convinced I'm the one with the chip.
    To be honest, I didn't really care if or where the BBC moved to, in fact I was traveling to Salford Quays at the time of the announcement that certain BBC departments would be moving to Media City and I was horrified at the thought of even more traffic in the area. However, the local infrastructure was improved, new jobs created, significant investment made and now, like it or not, the BBC have moved in (along with ITV and many more media related organisations).
    I listen to 5Live quite a lot and I cannot agree that all the accents are the same, this is simply not the case and I don't see that Salford is being 'shoved down peoples throats' either. The BBC appear to go to great lengths to ensure that the view of people all over the UK is considered and represented, this was the case when they were located in London so why should it be any different now they are in Salford.
    There should be less complaining about the BBC and 5Live specifically, it's a great institution and respected around the world, you really would miss it if it were not there. Have you ever watched TV or listed to Radio in such places as the US or Australia, I have and give me the BBC any day of the week.

  • Comment number 37.

    @AshleyP don't let some of the other posters put you down. The fact is that only one programme -Drive has moved to Salford. Correct me I am wrong. Therefore all this talk from some other posters about being inundated with Northern-ness is premature.

    I lived in Manchester for about ten years.

  • Comment number 38.

    Well AshleyP, I love ABC and their cricket coverage is fantastic. Their regional output may sometimes be, to use your word, parochial, but guess what, that is what makes a big broadcaster attractive to a whole nation! Not one that chooses one region then ignores others unless some tragedy occurs.

    Sadly we are drifting from the point. Nigel posted on behalf of AVK that "we propose to reduce the amount we spend in certain parts of the schedule such as overnight" and "the move brings is a greater diversity of voices and stories than has ever been heard before on a national station." Re the former, what does that mean? Going to chop Rhod because he broadcasts from Boston? Re the latter, there should not be any difference to the way it has always been on 5 Live, the truth is there are more NW voices, somehow the choice of callers and guests is quite noticeably more NW, and I don't ever remember there being that many London accents before the move began, for AVK to suggest there is a need for greater diversity.

    Frankly the move was a waste of money. The BBC had loads of perfectly good regional studios and could easily have spliced together the same quality of programmes they are going to claim they are providing from Salford. That's £200million that could have been used to enhance the BBC profile in all regions, including the region covered by BBC North. Feel sorry for everywhere else!

  • Comment number 39.

    Top post carrie ( 38 ) if I hope that that doesn't offend our friend who advocates less complaining.My next door neighbour works for the BBC and she is gutted what they have done to a prime regional area such as Radio WM and work from the Mailbox to enhance this ridiculously expensive Radio North West folly.Powering up the local regions for news reporting would have been an ideal solution.

  • Comment number 40.

    Regional hubs are almost dead. The death knell sounded when this ridiculous exercise in cutting things and people to make way for pay offs for the BBC management was announced. "Talent gifts" and "internal hospitality" are the things that sticks in my throat. This week we have had "Butlers in the buff" which will no doubt appear on the 2011/12 expenses list as "internal hospitality". Adds up to millions of pounds over the years. The BBC spent over £16 million over the past three years alone on redundancy payments to 115 senior executives, including £600,000 to one individual, to absolutely no advantage to the licence payers. Makes you gasp, doesn't it, when put beside all the other costs we are talking about here.

  • Comment number 41.

    I've got beyond gasping I think I need to be resuscitated after reading that.

  • Comment number 42.

    Those figures are from a Freedom of Information document by the way.

  • Comment number 43.

    The frightening thing is that people have to go ' digging ' for info like that .

  • Comment number 44.

    Thanks Nigel/Adrian for the reply.

    Regarding the axing the second football commentators, firstly I presume this will be the case for rugby union and league as well?

    I'm very dissapointed and agree with most of what Fedster has said.

    Firstly this argument of compairing TV to radio is a non-starter for me #GingerTompkins On radio they tradionally have two commentators and a summeriser where as TV will have a commentator, co-commentator and a pitchside reporter. So Five Live are sending the same number of people to a live match, the first commentator will often be sent to do interviews and to attend the press conferences.

    If this has to happen I can see the justirication on european Champions League away matches and World Cup group matches etc but a think the bigger matches should stick with the traditional two commentator format.

  • Comment number 45.

    Whats tradition got to do with anything DS ? Two football commentators on 5live has never been justified.Talksport has one commentator on football matches and one sumeriser and my BBC local radio station and the local commercial outlet has always had one commentator and one sumeriser also .Far from being a non starter it is a definate positive and adjustments have to be made.If you are telling me that some well paid BBC person cannot manage 90 minutes of talk with a 15 minute break in between when the commercial and local radio can do just that, then you are just plain wrong.Hard times means hard measures and btw the 5live rugby has to my knowledge had only one commentator mainly in the form of Ian Robertson.I don't see any real hardship and don't worry once got used too, I'm sure it will all be fine.

  • Comment number 46.

    5live uses 1 commentator for all 3pm Saturday Games, as well as some Games on Sports Extra, so they dont use 2 commentators for all games, having said that tuning into match commentary on talkSPORT where they use 1 Commentator is like being tortured, there is no balance of opinion, and the commentator is always getting hystrical, having 2 commentators at a game adds Quality for the listener.

  • Comment number 47.

    Personally I have not found a lack of quality to be the case at all and as hysterical goes, Alan Green wins hands down.Well done Fed for swerving the fact that BBC local radio has only one commentator and one sumeriser in my area for the whole of the matches and I must say they do an excellent and even better job than 5live.Btw there was a guy on the overnights on Talksport last night ( Steve Berry ) who did a seven hour shift on his own ( taking into account that the clocks went back ), now thats what I call putting a shift in.If cutbacks have to made then they have to be made.Its hardly the end of the world is it ?

  • Comment number 48.

    Also Fedster, most of the 3pm games are not covered in total, the reporter is giving a summing up on many occasions when cut to from the main game, rather than a 90 minute commentary.

    Delivering Quality First is a stone on the back of AVK. The remit is too broad and that is why the title should be Delivering Quantity Not Quality First.

  • Comment number 49.

    Well whatever we think of the move i think the key Question is, why are they waiting till 2014 before the move is fully implemented?

    Are quite a few Commentators contracts due to expire in 2014?

    I wonder what the reason is.

  • Comment number 50.

    It seems the Senior BBC staff are beind a tad hush hush about this move, i have tried asking Roger Mosey, the Former Head of Sport about the 2 Commentator set up.


    post 35

  • Comment number 51.

    I think you gave the right answer in @49, Fedster Holmes. I can see why the Olympics might hold a few things up but there is still a couple of years to account for.

  • Comment number 52.

    Nigel any chance for answers to a plethora of Questions since the last missive by AVK?


    What is the cost difference in sending 1 Commentator to a Match instead of 2? ( Surely the 2nd Commentator has additional duties including carrying out Interviews, Attending Press Confrences etc)

    Would you regard this move as being unpopular with listeners? I have always seen the 2 Commentator set up as bringing an added picture to a Match, as well as giving balanced opinions.

    Is your Commentator Pool likely to shrink because of this Move?

    Why are you waiting till 2014 to fully implement the move?

    Will there be exceptions for Englad Games and Major Finals?

    Will the use of 2 Summarisers for Major Finals and England Games also be axed?

  • Comment number 53.

    Fed, in the great word of Mastermind contests, I suspect AVK's answer will be "Pass".

  • Comment number 54.

    Carrie i dont understand why the BBC are being so hush hush about this move, it was reported that 5live "insiders" "source" "spokesman" told the Guardian about this move, yet not 1 of them was prepared to be named, why is that?

  • Comment number 55.

    Thanks for your comments. I appreciate that a lot of them are about single football commentators. I'm not in a position to answer those in detail but will try to get some clarity for you. I have tried to respond to other comments below

    @Fedster - you're not alone in wanting to know more about how the studios work. We've had quite a bit of correspondence asking the same thing and I hope to post a video here before too long that explaining what's what.

    @coreze - you state that in my DQF post "we are told what changes the BBC Trust wants to be made at 5 live". To clarify it's the BBC that has made the proposals. It is now up to the BBC Trust, following a public consultation, to approve these changes or not. If you are unclear about the relationship between the BBC and the BBC Trust, their website is very useful.

    You also state that

  • Comment number 56.

    Eek - that didn't work did it? I've lost the rest of my reply. Please bear with me while I write it again.

  • Comment number 57.

    Nigel thanks for the reply, could you explain why 5live insiders leaked the News to the Guardian regarding the Commentators issue, but are not prepared to be named, also who is this 5live Spokesman who spoke to the Guardian, was it you Nigel?

    All this cloak and dagger stuff is doing nothing for the Credability of 5live.

  • Comment number 58.

    @coreze (cont) - You also state that "only one programme - Drive has moved to Salford". This is not the case. Victoria Derbyshire, Shelagh Fogarty, Richard Bacon, Drive, Tony Livesey and Stephen Nolan are all broadcasting from Salford.

    @GingerTompkins - you mention the "monstrosity of a building". Have you been to see it or spoken to anyone who has? I can only speak personally but it's probably the best BBC building I've ever worked in and a vast improvement on the decrepit Television Centre that we've moved from. I've shown a lot of people around and they've all seemed rather envious of us working here.

    @carrie You ask what does "reduce the amount we spend in certain parts of the schedule such as overnight" mean? It means exactly that. Faced with a significant budget cut 5 live now has to prioritise where it allocates funds. This means overnight programming will have less budget than it does now. How this affects what you hear on air is still under discussion here.

    I am not going to revisit the arguments about BBC North. I'd recommend that anyone who wants to read more (including about costs) should look at the dedicated BBC North website.

  • Comment number 59.

    Well Nigel, I appreciate these aren't your decisions but it will greatly sadden me if the content of Dotun and Rhod's programmes is cut to repeats of stuff we have already heard. The great value of their programmes is that they respond to so much in the rest of the world where it is not night and things, good and bad, are happening. Rhod is the great unrewarded hero of your 24 hour output and he is
    greatly loved by everyone, if all those comments about him on here last time are taken in to account. I just don't get it. Why on earth do you need Livesey and two sidekicks to present his programme, and cut elsewhere? I think it is totally tragic because the links to the world are looking as if they will be cut whilst we endure flippant presentations in the late evening. OK some are funny but Tony does not need the sidekicks to be funny, and a newsreader and someone who started off being the financial expert are extras rather than necessities.

  • Comment number 60.

    Why do they need a 2 people to read out the Travel and Sport, surely 1 person can do it?

  • Comment number 61.

    If you have specific thoughts on the proposals I suggest you complete the DQF: Public Consulatation.

  • Comment number 62.

    I already have but sadly no notice will be taken of the dedicated consumer such as me. It is very sad.

  • Comment number 63.

    I meant devoted. Despite what I write and what people think about me, I love 5 Live and I hate to see it being transformed in to a travesty of what it was when it was created.

  • Comment number 64.

    #GingerTompkins I wasn't saying that because the current system is traditional they should keep it, I was pointing out that TV sends the same number of broadcasters to a game as radio if not more so that wasn't an argument against the Five Live system.

    Not sure if you listen to much rugby on the radio but Ian Robertson has always shared the commentary with another commentator recently Alastair Eykyn and before him the much missed Alastair Hignell. Alastair would do the pre and post match interviews, ie on the role done on TV by Jill Douglas or Sonja McLaughlan.

    I would be fairly certain than when the single commentator system comes in more matches will have pitchside reporters, certainly most big England rugby internationals.

  • Comment number 65.

    As promised here's Adrian's response to your questions about single commentators >>

    There've been a number of questions about the plan to move to single football commentators. As Fedster has pointed out, we already do this at certain times e.g 3pm on Saturdays and on Sports Extra. The proposal is to make a single commentator our standard way of doing things starting next year and fully implemented by 2014, though there may still be a tiny number of exceptions for the very biggest games.

    I've seen some wild figures about how much this will or will not save - we actually expect to save half a million pounds a year through this change. The reason why we're phasing this across two seasons is that it's likely to be the most cost effective way of implementing the change - it gives us a much better chance of minimising the number of redundancies and finding alternative roles for certain individuals because to save money our commentary pool has to shrink. But you will hear a substantial difference from next season.

    It will also involve producers doing more in terms of interviews and attending press conferences though again this is something they already do to some extent. Ultimately we have to make some hard choices in order to save money and the potential savings here in terms of both staff costs and travel/accommodation are significant.

    We want to offer the best football coverage to our listeners that we possibly can and I'm confident we can maintain the overall quality of what we do after these changes.

  • Comment number 66.

    When is the target date for all programmes to move, both radio and TV?

  • Comment number 67.

    Thanks for the reply Adrian,

    Just a couple of follow up Questions:

    Are you going to axe the 2 summariser role that is uses for major finals and England Games?

    As David has mentioned, will you use 1 Commentator for other sports you cover?

  • Comment number 68.

    @Nigel Smith Thank you very much for your reply, where you pointed out a couple of mistakes in my posts.

    It is the first time that I have received a reply from someone at 5 live. How does a poster get a reply? It seems that they have to find fault with 5 live. If you praise 5 live you get no reply.

    If you take a poster here such as Ashley P who has made favourable comments about 5 live, well, Ashley P gets no reply from you Nigel Smith.

    To take a cricketing comparison, can I suggest that you 5 live people be less defensive, get off the back foot, and make some attacking strokes and say how good 5 live is. There is a lot to be proud of at 5 live.

  • Comment number 69.

    ...no there's not (anything to be proud of), unless you count taking over £73million, that's £73, 000,000 of the public's hard earned pounds and giving us this: a website and blog that's uninhabited and a station that's dumbed down to the level of a Desmond tabloid

  • Comment number 70.

    Thanks for the information on the football commentators Nigel.

    I hope the some acceptions for a tiny number of games will include the big finals FA Cup, champions league and international matches.

  • Comment number 71.

    The Queen's Jubilee next year is kicking off with an equestrian extravaganza. I am appalled that the BBC has not persuaded the Queen to have this take place at Buile Hill Park, Salford instead of which, ha, yet again, it is in the South East. Disgusting.

  • Comment number 72.

    Blimey! A blog that has actually got some comments on it! What a turn up for the books.

  • Comment number 73.

    A sneak preview of the future tonight with Big John Murray flying solo in Spain tonight.

    Simon Brotherton was stuck in america after the World Series.

  • Comment number 74.

    @coreze - point taken. Thanks for your comments!


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