Today the BBC released their strategy review to the public, officially confirming rumours that, amongst other changes, the radio stations, BBC 6 Music and BBC Asian Network, may be shutdown.
I can’t comment on Asian Network, as I’m not in the target audience, but I think it will be a sad day if 6 Music closes. I listen every day, as I wake up to face the morning, whilst I work and as I relax in the evening. If I travel for business I always pack my DAB alarm clock so that, even as I find myself in some unknown hotel bed, I can still wake up to Chris Hawkins and Shaun Keaveney. I even paid for a DAB radio in my car just so I could listen to 6 Music and Radio 7 whilst on the move.
One reason given for the station’s closure is that the BBC should not be competing with commercial operators. This puzzles me as I am yet to hear a single commercial radio station that comes close to 6 Music in terms of style and content. Xfm has a similar primary playlist for current music, but lacks 6’s journeys into archive music. On the other hand, I fail to hear any significant difference between Radio 1 and the majority of commercial music stations broadcast around the country.
The station closure is by no means guaranteed; the BBC Trust are now conducting a public consultation and will have to approve or (hopefully) deny the proposal. The Trust have setup an online survey to gather the public’s views on all aspects of the review.