6 reasons why ditching 6 Music is stupid

1. 6 Music is the best music radio station in the country

2. Not all listeners are created equal… yes, the numbers might be low, but they are dedicated, regular listeners. These are the type of people who will whine loudly when pissed off.

3. No-one else is providing a similar service. If a publicly-funded media organisation is competing in a sector where there is healthy commercial competition, then fine, cut it. One can fully understand cutting the Asian Network, as it was skewing the market, perhaps unfairly. Many commercial Asian-orientated media outlets have complained that they couldn’t compete with the BBC’s wages and remit. But there is no direct commercial competition for 6 Music. So what’s the point?

4. One of the primary responsibilities of a public broadcasting service is to fill niches. Yes, radio stations like 6 Music could never be commercially successful, which is exactly why I want my tax money to fund it.

5. The BBC, like many publicly-funded bodies, is extraordinarily wasteful. I say this from direct experience, having worked with them. Their budget deficit is public proof of this. The solution is not to axe low-cost loss leaders like 6 Music, it is to cut waste.

6. Gideon Coe is a masterful radio host, and needs a home.

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5 responses to “6 reasons why ditching 6 Music is stupid

  1. Quite agree. This would be a travesty and a knee-jerk reaction to Tory/Murdoch pressure.
    There’s plenty of dead wood on the BBC (most of BBC3’s programming, so why kill off a station that truly fulfils the public servie remit? Madness.

  2. Alastair McKenzie

    The point about listener numbers is important. R1 and R2 can be cloned by ANY commercial station. Commercial radio needs large listener numbers to be viable, and that means a playlist of music that is, by definition, already established & popular.

    Holding on to those stations while sacrificing 6Music is the very opposite of what ‘public service’ broadcasting means!

  3. Alastair McKenzie

    …oops! Sorry. Another point.

    Hate that I’ve just spotted your line “as it was skewing the market” in point 3.

    You appear to have bought into this notion that the BBC has some kind of responsibility to other broadcasters. It absolutely hasn’t! That’s its whole purpose and the reason for its method of funding. The ONLY people the BBC is responsible to, is its audience.

    I’m truly worried that by acknowledging the BBC’s effect on commercial competitors, Mark Thompson has opened a crack in their defences against the dark forces (Murdoch, McKenzie, Cameron, et al).

    The ONLY grounds for a strategic review are subjective (eg.”we need to save some money”). The BBC Trust must not expend one iota of interest or concern for the commercial world or even acknowledge they exist.

    The Strategic Review must be a BI-LATERAL consultation between the BBC and its audience. There IS no third-party involvement.

  4. Alastair…

    I think the point I was trying to make there is that an all-powerful Beeb is not necessarily a good thing, and that a market dominated by anyone is dangerous – especially someone with very deep pockets and guaranteed income in a climate where competitors are struggling.

    The BBC is responsible to us, you are right. And I don’t like the idea of the BBC’s strength being at the detriment of the other media outlets I enjoy and consume. Therefore, in a way, it does have a responsibilty to other broadcasters, via its responsibilty to me.

    I want the Beeb to be brilliant, but I don’t want it to stop others from being brilliant.

  5. Alastair McKenzie

    Yeah, I take your last point.

    I don’t want it to stop others from being brilliant either (Hell! That’s where I came from – Independent Local & National Radio. Ironically I never worked for the BBC.)

    But its decision NOT to occupy any space it chooses to in the spectrum should be made ONLY on behalf of its audience.

    If it says… and I think this is what you mean… “we don’t need to have a TV channel like this because there is already something similar in the commercial world and we could use the resources for something else more niche or higher quality” that’s fine.

    What it must never say is “we’ll abandon our audience for that kind of programming to a commercial broadcaster because otherwise the ‘market’ will be skewed”!

    BTW. There ARE things the Beeb can be criticised for. During my career in commercial radio I can think of loads of times we would laugh at the way we could nimbly out-manoeuvre the bloated Beeb with a fraction of the staff and equipment. But I also know the effect that ceaseless commercial pressures exercise on creativity.

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