Tuesday, July 6, 2010

UPDATE: Sun NOT setting on British radio empire

Posted By on Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 4:25 PM


On Monday, July 5, the the BBC Trust overturned director general Mark Thompson's plan to kill off BBC-6, a move we initially wrote about back in March (story below).

The stay of execution came in the wake of a massive online campaign to save the digital radio station, which remains entirely devoted to new indie music.

The flood of protests also resulted in the station's listenership doubling.

You can read more about it in this Guardian post entitled, Is BBC 6 Music's reprieve a triumph for social media?

* * *

Last summer, we ran a story on local radio deejays and the state of radio in general, which isn’t all that good.

Now, at the risk of further pissing off KRCC station manager Delaney Utterback to the point where he retaliates with even more weekend airings of Prairie Home Companion, we’d like to take a moment to write about current threats to one of them there Internet radio stations.

The British Broadcasting Company announced this week its plans to kill off two of its radio services, BBC Asian Network and the BBC Radio 6. The decision has now prompted an international backlash, especially among listeners of BBC-6’s Internet stream.

The BBC also plans to close down half of its Web sites in apparent recognition of the fact that the Internet has no future.

BBC Director General Mark Thompson promises cutting-edge gardening broadcasts will not be sacrificed.
  • BBC director general Mark Thompson promises cutting-edge gardening broadcasts will not be sacrificed.

While the sun defied predictions by setting on the British empire a long time ago, the U.K. went on to experience a cultural resurgence based largely on its musical exports. From ’60s Invasion bands to the late and legendary BBC-6 deejay John Peel, from rave culture to Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz and Thom Yorke’s Radiohead, British music has remained surprisingly influential the world over.

Through the years, BBC Music 6 has established itself as the most reliable way to keep up with the cutting edge of contemporary pop music. The station also features radio documentaries that explore American musical subcultures with far more depth and diversity than its stateside counterparts.

The cuts, which are scheduled to take place in 2011, have been prompted by ongoing snipes from government conservatives.

Earlier today, BBC director general Mark Thompson underscored that fact while defending his decision and all but sobbing over ensuing criticisms:

I don't want to pretend that these are easy decisions. It's very interesting that politicians say: 'Why don't you cut these services?' When we start doing that, they say: 'Have you gone mad?'

British author Warren Ellis also weighed in today with the following post on the so-called Internet:

Dear BBC: you are a pile of spineless fucknozzles cutting bits off yourself in public in the idiot hope that it will appease evil.

Music fans can keep up with the story on the Save 6 Music Facebook page.

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