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The BBC's Strategy Review - a press round-up

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Chris Jones Chris Jones | 12:16 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

Following Friday's article in The Times by Patrick Foster entitled 'BBC signals an end to era of expansion' there's been a flurry of activity both in the press and online speculating on the possible findings of the BBC's Strategy Review and where any cuts might fall.

The major newspapers tended to repeat the main message of the Times' article with the Telegraph reporting, 'BBC to drop radio stations and cut web pages', the Guardian stating: 'BBC ''to axe radio stations and halve website'' in strategic review' while the Independent went with 'BBC surrenders to commercial pressure to prune its services'. Similar reports appeared amongst many online press, music and media journals such as the Wall Street Journal, Billboard, and the Register while both the FT and the BBC itself reported the growing chance of industrial action.

The key issue that piqued interest was the possible closure of 6 Music. Later that day the Guardian reported the growing... 'Opposition to closure threat regarding 6 Music' and the following day presenter Phil Jupitus contributed a piece headlined: 'Killing BBC 6 Music would be a slap in the face to licence-payers'.

The Guardian also emphasising the political aspects of the news with 'Shadow culture minister Ed Vaizey welcomes proposals for BBC cuts' although by today the story was, 'Tory culture spokesman joins 6 Music fanclub with U-turn over closure'. Meanwhile the Times returned to the subject via its business pages saying: 'BBC caps sport and ditches imported hits in shake-up'.

Editorially, The Times described the BBC as 'Big, bloated and cunning' and the Guardian and Observer typically invited comment from, amongst others Jude Rogers, Peter Preston, Jean Seaton and Emily Bell amongst others, as well as a piece stating that, 'Axed channels shouldn't mean a loss of character and flair.' Meanwhile there was a surge of interest in Facebook groups as well as Twitter campaigns.

By this morning the story was being looked at in more depth by James Robinson and Maggie Brown, while Patrick Foster again returned to the subject in the Times.

There will be a large amount of discussion and speculation around this particular subject over the next few days. It's worth noting that, as well as issuing an official statement on the BBC Press Office site, we have just re-launched the About the BBC website which will be publishing all the announcements on the BBC's Strategy Review and will also be providing links to, and coverage of conversations on the topic.


  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.

    Is anybody reading this?

    A few days have elapsed since the press and as a 6 Music fan I've passed denial and anger, now at grief. Thank you Chris Jones for inviting further comment.

    In case 6 Music goes, I wonder which of its programmes could find a new home on Radio 2? Where can I find the audience figures for different Radio 6 and Radio 2 programmes?

  • Comment number 3.

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

  • Comment number 4.

    I am absolutely astounded that 6 Music is to be removed. What does the BBC radio stations provide for me now? Chris Evans pumping up his own ego whilst shouting down the radio? Do I have to listen to Steve Wright's inane drivel? To people on the Jeremy Vine show being given a green card to say anything that they wish to without any comeback or being held to account for ist comments they feel that they are entitled to make? I am nearly 50 and do not want to listen to archiac music that my 80 year old mother likes (i.e. Sunday radio). So thank you Marc Thompson for bringing the BBC to the lowest common denominator. If anybody can think of how to start protesting more strongly than I am with you

  • Comment number 5.

    I can’t say anything new about 6 Music that hasn't been said over the past weeks but I can stand and be counted. I am an avid listener and personally find it baffling that a station that costs such a miniature amount of the BBC budget should be closed down.

    Please don’t take away the only radio I listen too. I bought a digital radio just for BBC6.

  • Comment number 6.

    I suggest that Mr Thompson stops trying to "impress" the politicians by his "grand" plan. It will not work! They will privatise it if they really want to. He is not winning any friends at all. In fact he is annoying the majority of the people, who happen to be voters, and with an election coming up, the politicians wil side with the public (voters).

    Cut the expense of employing Mr Thompson, and I mean the total cost, not just his salary, and it will be enough to pay to run Asian Network and Radio 6.

  • Comment number 7.

    I am stopping to pay the TV Licence if 6 Music goes.
    This is the only radio station with decent content!

  • Comment number 8.

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


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