6 Music: Open e-mail to the Strategic Review Consultation

2 Mar

To: srconsultation@bbc.co.uk

Subject: Strategic Consultation – Digital Radio closure

“I don’t need to tell you things are bad, we all know things are bad”. Thus spake Howard Beale, the scary mental protagonist in the film Network, and how true he was. Fast forward a few decades, we’ve seen the near figurative collapse of the banking system, numerous wars, the literal collapse of the World Trade Centre complex in New York, and Millwall reached the UEFA Cup. If this were the Daily Mail, boys and girls, we’d be saying the lunatics have taken over the asylum – since January 1st 2000, the world has become a far odder place.

The BBC, more than anyone, know “things are bad”. Faced with the prospect of a Conservative government in a couple of months time, coupled with the challenging economic climate, the BBC need to both cut its budget, and show that it is willing to be innovative and brave in its cutbacks.

Truth be told, the BBC probably is too big. It is currently, in your correspondents humble opinion, jack of all trades, and master of quite a few. This dominance is understandably pissing off its competitors, yet, by the same token, the BBC do frequently turn out a load of license-funded wank, if you’ll pardon my French.

The news today that Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC, is looking to shut BBC 6 Music and BBC Asian Network, as part of some much needed cuts, is particularly unwelcome. I’ll not admit that 6 Music is perfect (and I’ll not comment on Asian Network, as I’ve listened to that station for literally seconds in total), but it’s cheap. Reports are that it costs just £6million to run per year, which is supposedly £300,000 LESS than it costs Radio 1 to employ a breakfast DJ.

I would hereby like to suggest alternative, more appropriate BBC cuts, and I hope you will forward these suggestions to Mr Thompson himself.

Firstly, one thing you can get rid of is Snog, Marry, Avoid on BBC Three. I’ve no idea how it much to make, but hiring an ex-Atomic Kitten can’t be cheap (I’m told that Katona cost Iceland millions, and Jenny Frost is infinitely more talented), and the program is a crock of shit. I can honestly say I’ve not learned a single thing from it, though I blame own failures with women squarely at this programs door. Save money and do me a massive favour!

Secondly, there is no point to Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. It’s dreadful. I walked into the living room to stunned silence one night, expecting to hear about the death of a relative or bad news of that scale. Nope, it was due to Ralf Little and Will Mellor* having a hilarous conversation in a pub! HO HO HO! Imagine that!

*Well, be fair to Mellor/Little, I mean their characters, not them. Nothing against them personally. Please let them live.

Third thing you can get rid of is the entire output of BBC Radio 3. I don’t have the figures, I’ll admit, but I’d wager 50 Scottish pence that it costs twice what Classic FM costs, and gets half the listeners. Even if my figures are way off the mark, there are those saying that 6 Music should go to give its commercial rivals a square go. It doesn’t have any, unlike Radio 3.

Fourth thing I’d like to suggest merging Match of the Day and the Football League Show to create a three hour spectacular of a Saturday evening. I call it “Lineker and Claridge’s Three Hour Footie Funfest”. Not only will you save money on not employing Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer, or Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes (I think that’s her name), you’d cut costs by sharing the studio, and delight your audiences by unleashing Stevie C’s insight to Premier League fans for the first time. You could save further money by merging TOTP 2 with MOTD2, where Adrian Chiles introduces highlights of Wigan vs Bolton to the sound of Mud, Sparks, and rare archive footage of Wings.

Last money saving suggestion I have (for now) is about your news output. Why do you need so many journalists? Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the BBCs diverse ways of getting the news beamed from your organisation into my head in a million different ways, but do you really need a different person reporting the same bit of news for BBC News, BBC Newsbeat, BBC Radio, BBC Local Radio, and BBC Online to name but a few? Especially after that bird on the BBC News Channel said to Lord Foulkes that she was on £90k a year or something near that figure.

Naturally I don’t expect you to take the above advice literally. I’m told that the “Two Pints” support lobby are a vicious bunch, who have said any threats to cancel their favourite sitcom will be met with “very grave measures” – which may explain why it has been recommissioned so many, many times. I would, however, please ask that you take into account that given the total budget of the BBC, the sterling work that the guys at 6 Music (and, doubtless, Asian Network) do, and the fact that the combined budgets of the two stations are a drop in the fucking ocean, that you might consider the possibility that the answer to your problems may lie elsewhere.




3 Responses to “6 Music: Open e-mail to the Strategic Review Consultation”

  1. tomasz. March 4, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Sterling work. The only thing i'd be a tiny bit hesitant about is Radio 3. i wonder how avant-garde Classic FM, in its commercial sector position, would venture. Don't get me wrong, i'm not especially a Radio 3 fan, but you occasionally get some spectacularly fucked-up classical stuff on there.


  2. Andrew March 6, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    Nice one.I emailed every one I could think of protesting the BBC closure. Mainly to avoid work but I'm going to miss BB6. Thought you might like this…http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/They have a new infographic on BBC expenditure, the rest of the stuff on the website is pretty cool too.Andrew (used to go to Uni together)


  3. Andrew March 6, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    Nice one.http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/They have a new infographic on BBC expenditure. Good other stuff on the site too.Andrew (fe Uni)


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