You won't have failed to notice the future of BBC 6Music is again looking increasingly uncertain and if the report in today's Times is to be believed, it's terminal for the station. However, the head of Absolute Radio - formerly Virgin Radio - has said that they'd consider bidding for 6Music should the BBC pull the trigger.
The chief operating officer of Absolute Radio, Clive Dickens, told The Times:
"We would buy 6 Music from the BBC, both the brand and the network, and we’d run it more efficiently than they’ve been doing. The passion that we’re seeing from listeners shows there’s nothing wrong with the station, it’s just been overfunded."
"It would stand a better chance of succeeding if it was run commercially. It could be a complementary service that could be run alongside our own stations. It wouldn’t generate a lot of cash but it would serve a lot of fans who don’t want to be disenfranchised."
What this actually says about the future of the station is unclear, however. A buyout of 6Music would undoubtedly be A Good Thing, but once taken over by Absolute it would obviously become a commercial entity, which obviously has to fit in with certain demands, i.e listeners.
Dickens said that the problem was essentially with overfunding, but Absolute are unlikely to purchase a niche, publicly funded radio station and keep operations identical, even if they wanted to spend the present budget, which they won't. Currently a budget of around £6m is spent on 6Music every year reflected in around 700,000 weekly listeners to the digital only station.
The report in The Times refers to BBC Director General Mark Thompson's strategic review of the corporation, which is due to be published in March. It claims that BBC 6Music will close, and that it will stop chasing ratings and focus their efforts on putting out shows and programmes of a higher quality.
You could say that this is at odds with the potential closure of 6Music, given that the initial report earlier in the month said that the station should be trying to attract more listeners. The article also claims that the BBC Three will make no changes to its programme, despite being a home for, by and large, total toilet-bowl television.