Earlier last week reports spread far and wide that BBC's alternative digital station, 6Music, was under risk of closure. Naturally, people responded in the only way they can, setting up Facebook groups and/or joining said Facebook groups.
The group, which has over 50,000 members, said in its mission statement:
The BBC Trust is about to publish a review into the performance of both 6Music and Radio 2.
There are rumours that the station, which has 620,000 weekly listeners and costs £7 million a year to run, could be closed in a meaningless sacrifice to politicians demanding BBC savings and a limit on the corporation’s digital ambitions.
The Trust could argue that 6’s audience reach doesn’t justify its expense and that its core audience be served in the margins of a tightened-up Radio 2.
You could label it scaremongering, but at the very least it was concerned scaremongering, with the right intentions, and the best interests of a much-loved radio station at heart. The good news for fans of 6Music is that the station will NOT be closing down any time soon. Not that it was ever in danger of doing so, mind.
The review of the performances of 6Music and Radio 2 has now been published, with the conclusion that, though 6Music was popular with its listeners, it needed to become more cost-effective - with a budget of around £6m - and should aim to reach more listeners than at present, the latter point should be taken as read all the time, really.
Specifically it said, and concluded that:
"The BBC Executive should make changes to clarify and strengthen the station's appeal, in doing so it should also seek to attract enthusiasts of alternative popular music from demographic groups which were currently less likely to listen, particularly older listeners."
"It must do this without diminishing the aspects which made it distinctive, e.g. a schedule built around celebrating the alternative spirit of popular music."
"The station should ensure that presenters were not only popular, but also had musical credibility, to act as trusted guides for music enthusiasts."
The review started in May 2009 and included a three-month consultation period with licence fee payers. Over 4,700 responses were received from the licence fee payers and members of the radio industry.
DiScuss: A fan of 6Music? Glad that George Lamb has moved slots? Angry that Adam and Joe have since gone on hiatus? Fearing for the future of 6Music, or happy with the way it is?