NUJ statement on the BBC’s proposed new music stations
The union asks why after making cuts in local radio, the corporation is spending on four new music stations which emulate those already in the commercial sector
Sian Jones, NUJ national broadcasting organiser said:
“At a time when the BBC says it is facing a funding shortfall in the licence fee, it is puzzling why it now looks to be spreading public money ever more thinly on launching new services which will, in part, emulate stations already provided by the commercial sector.
“Many staff in local radio, which has seen a drastic cut in local programmes in England and many redundancies, will be rightly angry that the BBC can suddenly find money for these new radio ventures. We’re especially concerned about the ambition for the new Radio 2 extension to target older listeners, something which BBC Local Radio used to do in abundance – and could still do with the right mindset among senior managers.
“We recognise that BBC Radio and BBC Local are different divisions, with their own management and strategy. But instead of acting in silos, they should be working together to provide what the BBC is there for – public service content that is not available elsewhere, rather than copycat music stations aimed at an already crowded market.
“We will be assessing the Public Interest Test when the details are published and formulating an appropriate response to the BBC and Ofcom – and would urge listeners and local stakeholders to ensure their voices are also heard loud and clear.”