BBC Radio under attack

BBC Charter renewal
May 11, 2016
Martin Cox
May 13, 2016

We thought that members might be interested, in our concern for all things BBC, in the enclosed.

The BBC is under attack. Under pressure from the government, our public service broadcaster has agreed to privatise the majority of BBC radio.

Under the terms of the new draft charter, 60% of BBC radio output will now come from private providers, a massive increase from the current 20%. That would make wealthy private interests gatekeepers for one of our most trusted information sources.
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This is in part what the Guardian wrote;

Jarvis Cocker, Andrew Marr and Dame Joan Bakewell are among almost 40 BBC radio stars warning that a plan to commission 60% of the BBC’s radio content by competitive tender “sets bureaucracy over creativity”. The proposal is based on an agreement between the BBC and the industry body the Radio Independents Group, a culture department spokesman said.

The BBC stars, who come from across the corporation’s radio output, raised their concerns about the proposals in a letter to the Sunday Times.

In the past 20 years the BBC has gradually increased the proportion of content commissioned from external companies from zero to 20%. The open letter describes this as “a gradual rise that has fostered evolution while maintaining stability and allowing it to sustain its international reputation for excellence”.

But the draft BBC charter, which contains proposals to increase the proportion to three-fifths by 2022, would “threaten that excellence”, the letter states. The authors warn that it will add red tape and expense to the process of making radio content.

“This is poor value for money: the cost of commissioning-related administration will increase, but money spent on actual programmes will be cut, squeezing radio budgets that external and in-house producers already find barely adequate,” they write.

The letter continues: “It makes no sense to spend less on making programmes but more on the cost of commissioning them.”

Personalities from across the BBC’s radio output have lent their support to the letter.

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