Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Who knows why the axe falls (this particular way)? - an impromptu rant

Seems like the Director-General of the BBC is determined to get rid of 6 Music and the Asian Network but, I'm still trying to get my head around the logic of these cuts. For a start, the cost of running 6 Music could all be covered by a couple of years of the kind of salary that the Beeb (over)paid certain self-important presenters. Perhaps some of these could be made to work for rather less obscene salaries.

If the argument is that they've to leave some leeway for the commercial stations then, it's strange that they decide to cut stations that are nowhere duplicated by the standard commercial station fare. Of course, if the BBC were to cut its more populist programmes that would provide fodder for those who've always resented the beeb, "just look, this poptastic commercial station is getting more listeners than R1/R2, why should we license payers be providing this less popular service?" At the same time, I suspect that most of the moguls (and would be moguls) in the commercial broadcasting field are only in favour of the kind of competition that leaves the public service broadcasters hands tied; they're all for competition as long as it's on their own terms! 

One can't help feeling that much of the "mainstream" music output is little more than a promotional audio for the giant corporations of the music industry. Who decides to plug such and such "record of the week" or "album of the week"?

There is a suggestion that some of the "best" of 6  Music's output can be slotted into the Radio 2 schedule; is this a way of saying that there's a fair bit of dross to be cut out of Radio 2? What about Radio 3, after all Classic FM produces a (very) diluted version of much of it's music output, no suggestion of cutting that station though. I listen frequently to Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, occasionally to 6 Music and Radio 7, so I've no particular axe to grind, I also frequently watch BBC2, BBC4, BBC1 and occasionally BBC3 and, I feel that an argument could be made for merging much of the output of BBC4 & BBC2 and even parts of BBC3 & BBC1 but, somehow television seems to be something of a sacred cow.

Come to think of it, much of the non-music output of Radio 3 would be equally at home on Radio 4 but, somehow, their demographic is of a social standing that the beeb's hierarchs are afraid of upsetting. Most of the musical output of Radios 1 & 2 is difficult to distinguish from that emanating from a plethora of commercial stations but, 6 Music rings the changes; there's a message here, "if you don't conform you're for the chop", a definite air of conservatism.

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