Forget Ross. Why any BBC radio stations at all?

  simonjary 14:49 29 Oct 2008

In light of the Ross/Brand controversy (a bit of a storm in a teacup, as far as I'm concerned), here's a deeper question: Why does the BBC have so many radio stations in the first place.

With the exception of Radio 4 (which at least is calmer than the commercial shock-jock stations) why do we have to pay for 10 major radio stations? The content is available elsewhere on numerous radio stations.

Even the 46 local BBC radio stations are surely covered by commercial stations anyway. There's a Radio Scotland and a Gaelic Radio Nan Gaidheal, with similar in Wales.

So rather than sack Ross and Brand (that is, pay them off and send them to the commercial stations) why not scrap the vast majority of the BBC radio stations, and save us all some money - or spend it on some quality TV?

  interzone55 15:10 29 Oct 2008

Listen to a commercial station, any of the popular music ones.

Whilst you're listening write down the tracks as they're played, then when you hear it again, cross it out. I'm willing to bet that after 4 hours every track will have been played at least twice.

Now listen to Radio Two, it'll take at least a week before every track has been played twice.

The Commercial stations cater to the lowest common denominator, their only concern is advertising revenue, so they carry out audience research and only play the music that the audience wants to listen to, unfortunately that's all they play, the same tracks over and over and over again. Duffy's Mercy is still on heavy rotation on many ILR stations, and it's almost 12 months old.

We used to have a fantastic local commercial station, The Revolution, it played a fantastic mix of current indie, early 90's Manchester dance rock & northern soul classics. All was well fro 2 years until Steve Penk decided to buy the station and turn it into a sub Magic Radio clone over night, and the listeners left in droves.

The local BBC stations provide a valuable, voice radio resource supporting the local community. Many ILR stations actually syndicate many programs and only the daytime shows are local.

Any comments about BBC quality do not include Radio 1, which is a stain on the network...

  crosstrainer 15:16 29 Oct 2008

Agree more with alan14, the BBC Radio stations are the reason I don't begrudge my licence fee.

I listen to Radio 4, Radio Wales and Radio Five live every day.

Now as far as the BBC TV channels are concerned, you can bin them all as far as I'm concerned, nothing but reality TV and repeats.

  DippyGirl 15:22 29 Oct 2008

If we are looking at BBC radio (again minus Radio1) dont forget the Worldservice
.... and the BBC Web presence is also one of the best

Licence fee is about more than TV - even if it does get the lions share

  crosstrainer 15:23 29 Oct 2008

Yes, I also listen to the World Service at night....An excellent station.

  simonjary 15:26 29 Oct 2008

If we took away the BBC radio stations then some canny commercial operator could quite easily follow the format (just including some annoying ads).

If the audience is out there (and I presume the BBC proves that it is), then let it go commercial and not be funded by taxpayers.

Then you won't have to complain so much about Ross and Brand.

  Bingalau 15:43 29 Oct 2008

The BBC has never been the same since it removed the "Light Program".

  interzone55 15:48 29 Oct 2008

but commercial broadcasters wouldn't follow the BBC format, they'd simply apply their magic marketing formula, do some audience research and play the same old crap 24/7.

And can you imagine what they'd do to Radios 3 & 4. Then there's TMS, there'd be 4 minutes of adverts between every over.

No, allowing commercial organisations to run BBC radio would be an unmitigated disaster and would prompt me to emigrate to a bunker in Montana were I'd be able to pick up one of their decent college radio stations on Sirius...

  The Brigadier 15:51 29 Oct 2008

Radio 3 LW for Test Match Special.
Worth paying the licence fee to hear Aggers, Blowers, CMJ & The Bearded Wonder talking all about he great game!

  crosstrainer 15:52 29 Oct 2008

Here Here, but must admit, I listen on Five live sports extra digital these day's :))

  simonjary 15:55 29 Oct 2008

I still think one canny commercial operator could follow the successful BBC formula. Most of the commercial stations are very similar, so the one that stood out could win a big market share.

(Of course, the BBC skews the market with its big salaries and kudos to the 'talent'.)

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