Save BBC 6Music

Sadly it seems like BBC 6Music is living on borrowed time. The Times published a story today announcing that the BBC will be axing two of its radio stations (in the shape of 6Music and BBC Asian Network). Now correct me if I’m wrong, but the BBC is meant to pride itself on being diverse and representative of all British culture. 6Music is a shining beacon at the BBC for it’s diverse range of programming. I do accept that the vast majority of music that you get from 6Music is considered alternative, but no other radio station provides this service with such aplomb.

The main argument to axe 6Music is apparently the fact that it doesn’t reach a wide enough audience. I can also accept this is the case, but I can also lay the blame for this firmly at the foot of the BBC. 6Music is a DAB only station. Now take a quick look at every popular radio station currently available. Now try to spot any similarities in these stations. They all have FM frequencies to help garner their popularity. DAB is a great way to listen to the radio, but unfortunately there are still a huge number of people who don’t have, and can’t be bothered with, DAB radio. How can they expect to reach the sort of figures of Radio1 and 2 when they can only broadcast to a fraction of the population? It makes no sense at all.

I am very concerned that the closing of 6Music may already be a done deal. Back at Christmas Adam and Joe announced that they were going on “a break” from broadcasting, and they “hoped” they would be back. And a few weeks ago, Jon Richardson announced that he was leaving 6Music because it was time to move on and do other things. Did they know something we didn’t?

Whether you wanted to listen to the humorous whimsy of Adam & Joe and Jon Richardson, maybe some funk and soul with Craig Charles, or even some heavy metal and rock with Bruce Dickinson, 6Music has a bit of everything. Maybe that’s its problem. The alternative tag is never considered a mainstream option. But it would be a travesty to deprive us of it.

But who can we really blame? The Director General Mark Thompson has announced these cuts along with reduced spending on US imports and a reduced Internet service. The US imports are definitely not a concern because they will get picked up elsewhere. But no one will pick up the service that 6Music provides. Can we really blame the BBC? I don’t think we can. It’s a huge shame, but the BBC is being pressured to make these wholesale cuts to its service from outside.

The would-be Tory government has never been wholly in favour with the BBC receiving the level of license fees it relies upon, and would quite happily enforce the BBC cuts should they take power. I’ve always hated David Cameron and his massive shiny face anyway, now I have more reason to spit bile in his general direction. But it’s not just the politicians who are unhappy with the Beeb. Commercial television institutes like the altogether shoddy ITV and flagging Channel 4 must be unhappy that the BBC enjoys such domination in the market without relying on funding from advertising.

Not surprisingly 6Music has received tremendous backing through the medium of Twitter and Facebook. The Save 6Music Facebook group now is just short of 60,000 followers, and on Twitter, #saveBBC6music is the highest trending topic. And they say 6Music doesn’t reach enough people.

If you enjoy the programming of 6Music, let’s hound the BBC Trust. It’s probably our last hope. Click here to make your voice heard. Just click the “make a complaint” bit on the left. It only takes a minute.

For those of you who don’t listen to 6Music, shame on you, here’s some of what you’re missing.

• Adam & Joe – Should they get a chance to return before the axe
• Bob Dylan – playing his favorite songs every week
• Bruce Dickinson’s Friday night rock show
• Collins and Herring – Wonderfully sitting in for Adam & Joe
• Craig Charles’ Funk and Soul Show
• Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour
• Huey Morgan (the Fun Lovin Criminal)
• Jarvis Cocker – Wonderfully intellectual DJ
• Jon Holmes
• Jon Richardson – Soon to be leaving, very sad loss
• Lauren Laverne – adding a bit of culture to you morning
• Liz Kershaw – Music, features and film reviews
• The Music Week
• Richard Bacon
• Shaun Keaveny
• Steve Lamacq
• And of course the cliché of many more

3 responses to “Save BBC 6Music

  1. if you want to save money close radio7 instead ,6music should in no way be closed its the best thing to happen at the beeb for years and should stay

    • Radio 7 is intended to be the sister station to radio 4. Currently it is largely a waste of time, but they’re thinking of rebranding it 4Extra or something like that, so there is hope there. As for a station to cut, 1Xtra is the way to go. They must have fewer listeners than 6Music. Even the DJs admit they broadcast to no one. And unfortunately for the Asian network, there are too many other stations that offer very similar services.

  2. A quick update as to anyone who read this blog now. The online campaign to save 6music was successful and the BBC Trust rejected Mark Thompson’s plans to axe the station. BBC Asian Network however will still unfortunately be cut as will several other BBC services including its web output.

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