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Messages - Rita

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Hello Lecroy,
I imagine a lot of listeners enjoy football coverage on local radio stations.  However, it is very irritating when music programmes are constantly cancelled for football, because other listeners enjoy those as well. There should be a way of "splitting" the airwaves so that all listeners can be accommodated. I have been told in the past by management that it is too expensive, but my argument is that if the BBC can pay out eye-watering salaries to various presenters, then they should be able to afford to do this simple thing. Cancelling programmes to accommodate sport all the time is completely unacceptable.

Seen in an opinions column of a national paper on 26.1.16:-

"BBC bosses are planning a propaganda campaign to encourage over-75s to voluntarily give up their free TV licences.  Household names such as Dame Helen Mirren are being lined up to play a role in the efforts.
If people decide they want to make a contribution to the BBC's coffers that is perfectly acceptable.  However, pressuring pensioners into giving up a perk to which they are fully entitled is another thing entirely.
Nobody who is over the age of 75 should be made to feel guilty for accepting a free TV licence .  And yet some people - raised in an era when nobody expected to get something for nothing - will feel that way in the face of the BBC's emotional blackmail.
This comes despite the fact that after a lifetime of contributing to the system they fully deserve the right to enjoy television for free during their retirement.
There are many better ways for the BBC to save some money .  To name but a few they could start cutting back on over-paid managers , generous expense accounts and wasteful spending across the corporation.
Having multi-millionaire celebrities  deliver lectures on why the over 75s should voluntarily support this bloated institution is patronising and unnecessary.
If the BBC cannot adapt to a smaller budget that is the fault of the staff for failing to change with the times.
The over 75s should not be asked to pay the price".

BBC Management & BBC Trust / Re: BBC licence fee must be axed
« on: January 30, 2016, 12:32:50 PM »
"A star-studded propaganda  campaign encouraging the over-75s to give up their free TV licences  was condemned last night. The BBC is considering enlisting a galaxy of stars to convince older people to forgo the perk or make a contribution towards its cost.  Household names like Sir Terry Wogan, Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Michael Parkinson and other so-called "silver celebrities" could be asked to front the cause. Historically  the Government has met the cost of free licences for over 75s.  In 2013-2014 the bill was 608 million , a fifth of the BBC's budget.  But the BBC will take over full liability for the free licences from 2020-2021 and is looking at ways of softening the financial impact.  Paul Green of retirement specialists Saga said "It makes for uncomfortable reading that the BBC is rumoured to be considering using well-known celebrities to put pressure on older people to pay more money on the same day charities have been publicly lambasted for pressuring older people to give money to charity.  The future funding of the BBC should not be about gimmicks with celebrities tugging on the conscience of older viewers".  Director-general Lord Hall has commissioned an investigation to explore how the BBC could recoup some of the money.  One suggestion is a publicity-drive  spearheaded by trusted figures, yet the idea of the BBC going cap-in-hand to Britain's pensioners has caused alarm, particularly as figures show almost four million older people say TV is their main source of company. Veteran presenter Noel Edmonds, 67, said "If people,voluntarily want to pay their TV licence that is fine, but to put them under any moral,pressure is entirely wrong". There are people suffering real hardship, particularly more mature citizens.  To even suggest they would lose the licence fee when it is being used for so many other purposes, is scandalous". Dot Gibson, general secretary of the National Pensioners Convention , said "One of the reasons we have the free TV licence in the first place is because our state pension remains one of the lowest in the developed world.  It's worrying if the BBC is going to use famous, wealthy older celebrities to persuade pensioners to give up their TV licence.  Many older, vulnerable people might be taken in by this when they should be protected.  The Chancellor has managed to privatise Government cuts at the expense of Britain's older generation.  The Government should take back responsibilty for the free TV licence or we'll see it cut by 976.5 million in wages for the year ending 2014-2015 up from 955 million  the year before.  Head count is also up with the BBC employing  18,974 full-time staff compared with 18,674 the previous year.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport  said "People aged 75 and over will still receive a free TV licence  under the terms of our agreement with the BBC".

The above is not the full article, but snippets from it.

Seen in a national paper today:

"Rolling news on the BBC is at risk of being axed to cut costs , the Trust's chairman has indicated.
Rona Fairhead  said programmes and some services will be hit as a result of its "tough" financial settlement last year.
But Scotland could get a separate television channel as part of the shake-up.
Pressed over whether the BBC's news channel is facing the ace, Ms. Fairhead  said "nothing is off the table".
She said yesterday "Everything is being looked at.  It's a tough settlement but the executive will work out what it is that they need to cut, the efficiencies will be put, the priority will,be on making sure the programmes and stations that people listen to will be protected as much as possible.
I can't say that anything is off the table.  It's not.  We have been very clear from the start that everything will be done to improve e efficiency but that it is likely that some programmes and potentially, some services will be affected".
Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for more Scottish programming and a dedicated channel.
Asked about the possibility, Ms. Fairhead replied "I think we are looking at all options right now".
Director-General Lord Hall agreed a behind-the-scenes  deal with George Osborne in July, under which the BBCwill begin to take on the 725 million cost of free licences for the over-75s.
The corporation has said that the move is the equivalent of a 10 per cent reduction to its budget.  Lord Hall is understood to have received an assurance in November that the Government does not plan to use the current review of its Royal Charter to scrap the licence fee or impose further cuts".

BBC Management & BBC Trust / BBC licence fee must be axed
« on: January 17, 2016, 03:21:52 PM »
Seen in a national paper today :

"A petition backed by 170,000 people calling for the BBC licence fee to be axed  is to be presented to Parliament this week.
Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen , who has been leading the campaign to decriminalise non-payment of the fee, is expected to present the petition on Wednesday.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport recently completed its review of the BBC Charter.
The petition urges the department to end the fee  because it says it discriminates against low-income families and gives an unfair advantage to one broadcaster.
The BBC charter expires at the end of this year".

I don't know if any members of the Forum listened to Radio Merseyside over the Christmas/New Year period?  If not there were quite a number of shows worthy of note and excellence, which would be worth listening again to on the BBCiPlayer.  Programmes presented by Roger Lyon on 25th December (11.00 a.m. - 2.00 p.m); 26th December (11.00 a.m. - 2.30 p.m); 28th December (11.00 a.m. - 2.30 p.m); and 1st January 2016 (9.00 a.m. - 12 noon) were all excellent for various reasons, e.g. the guests and the chance for some listeners on Christmas Day to hear greetings from family members overseas.  It would take me far too long to mention the highlights for me.   Another presenter, Frankie Connor also presented some wonderful shows on 27th December (11.00 a.m. - 2.00 p.m); 28th December (8.00 a.m. - 11.00 a.m); 1st January 2016 (12 noon - 3.00 p.m); and 3rd January 2016 (11.00 a.m. - 2.00 p.m).  There was also a BBC Merseyside special from 6.00 p.m. - 7.00 p.m. on 28th December "Remembering Cilla" which may be of interest.
It's so long since I've written anything on the Forum, that I've quite got out of the habit, so apologies for anything I've missed.  Perhaps if there is anything that would interest you on Radio Merseyside, you could go to the schedules for more information.
Happy New Year to you all.  Hope 2016 proves to be a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous one for you all.

BBC Local Radio Board / Re: Radio Merseyside
« on: October 28, 2015, 10:22:00 PM »
I did get the opportunity to be "on air" Darcy to speak to Aziz Rashid - I think I was the third person to ask my questions.  It all went well I think.

BBC Local Radio Board / Radio Merseyside
« on: October 26, 2015, 01:41:34 PM »
On the 'phone-in on Radio Merseyside today, the first hour and a half was dealing with questions from the listeners to Sue Owen, Managing Editor, Aziz Rajid, her boss and Roger Phillips, the presenter, about the BBC generally.  It was a good programme and a lot of the listeners had the opportunity to be "on air" and convey their thoughts and feelings.  Worth a listen.

I have filled in so many BBC surveys in the last weeks, either on-line or paper copies, I guess my views have been made quite clear to them by now.  Whether the BBC will act on any of the suggestions that have been made by viewers and listeners up and down the country, remains to be seen.  Personally, I have my doubts, because, without doubt, large organisations do not listen to what is being said, but we will have to see.  I also took the time to write to John Whittingdale, M.P., but, up to date, have never had any acknowledgement of my letter, so it is hard to see if he has taken any of my views on board. 
All I hope for is that the BBC will finally realise how important local radio is to listeners up and down the land, and will see that more funding is given to these station to enable them to continue with their vital work in the community.  I do wish that they would dispense with the "All England Show" in the early evening and replace it with shows from the local presenters who know the area and also the people in their remit.  The "All England Show" is definitely NOT local radio.
It would be nice to think that the BBC will become a more open and engaging public broadcaster, but I'm not holding my breath about that one.

BBC Management & BBC Trust / Re: Life Without The BBC
« on: September 19, 2015, 09:08:28 PM »
This was a column in a local newspaper on Friday 18 September and makes interesting reading.
"Will the future of the BBC be set out by Rupert Murdoch"
The current consultation on the future of the BBC will appeal to the resurgent Murdoch empire. Rebekah Brooks is back to "lead a great team at News UK into the digital future, while maximising the influence and reach of our newspapers, which remain the most informative and successful in Britain and beyond". So said Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp.
The BBC licence fee revenue pays for the BBC's television, radio and online services, and services outside the commercial sector for the public benefit including Welsh broadcaster S4C, the nationwide digital switchover and superfast broadband infrastructure.  The excellent BBC World Service is to expand and, for the first time, there will be a daily news broadcast on short wave radio into North Korea.  The BBC will soon have to meet the cost of free licences for the over-75s.
The current Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sports, John Whittingdale MP says that the BBC is "at the very heart of Britain".  However, the likely change is to  have a narrower BBC.  In short, less BBC output will provide more opportunity for News Corp to encourage and entice subscription to its services.
The BBCs total investment  in original TV content is understood to be about the same level as BSkyB's operating profits over the last year.  The BBC's ability to compete for talent and rights is under threat.
Responses to the consultation[ /consultations/bbc-charter-review-public-consultation] need to be made by October 8.  I fear that they will not make any difference.  Regardless of the views of the public , the political decision as to the future of the BBC may have already been reached, having followed the familiar pattern of elected politicians being manipulated into making decisions that neatly coincide with the most powerful media empire".

BBC Management & BBC Trust / Re: Life Without The BBC
« on: September 08, 2015, 08:14:21 AM »
Seen in a national paper today

BBC shows face the axe as cash dries up

"Popular programmes and presenters face the axe as the BBC struggles for money.
In a barely disguised attack yesterday, director-general Lord hall said the Chancellor's July Budget had left the corporation facing "some very difficult choices ahead" and some services would have to be slashed.
In a bleak prediction for the future of the broadcaster, Lord Hall warned it would have to radically reinvent itself as cash dries up.
His downbeat comments came as the BBC battles with the Government over the details of its charter, up for renewal in 2017.
The corporation has already agreed to shoulder the cost of free television licences for those aged over 75.  It will cost an estimated 750 million by 2020, almost a fifth of the corporation's current annual income.
Lord Hall, 64, said it meant the BBC would have to save 20 per cent of its income over the next five years at a time when its share of TV revenues was likely to fall.
He said "The BBC faces a very tough financial challenge.  So we will have to manage our resources ever more carefully and prioritise what we believe the BBC should offer.  We will inevitably have to either close or reduce some services.
We will have to change the way we work.  We all want a simpler, more effective organisation where as much money as possible goes on programmes and services."
His comments come after Culture Secretary John Whittingdale questioned whether the corporation should be "all things to all people" or have amore "precisely targeted" mission.
In details announced yesterday the BBC suggested "some existing services" might no longer be needed.
Proposals on how savings will be made and which services might be scrapped will be announced in the coming months, but it is certain some programmes will be jettisoned.
Lord Hall promised and "open BBC" which collaborates with rival media and the public and serves as a "catalyst for this country's incredible talent".
He said "It has occasionally been suggested the BBC should stop being a mainstream entertainer because the market can provide mainstream entertainment.
"But is anyone seriously going to propose to licence fee payers their fee should only go to the niche programmes and services, that we should stop doing all the things they love most?
"What makes the BBC work is precisely the combination of popular programming with the depth and range only a public service broadcaster can guarantee".
Proposals for a new "open BBC" include plans for a multi-million pound partnership with local news groups to provide a network of 100 "public service reporters".
Bosses also want to create a new on-demand children's service called iPlay and an "ideas service" linking BBC programmes with material from partners including the British Museum and Royal Shakespeare Company.
Lord Hall said "An open BBC is a million miles away from an expansionist ambition.  Indeed, it is the polar opposite"

I notice Lord Hall has not mentioned local radio stations and what will happen to them in the future.  Neither has he mentioned the exorbitant salaries which top management and top presenters are paid - perhaps they should start there and make sure that LOCAL radio is maintained.

BBC Management & BBC Trust / Re: Life Without The BBC
« on: September 05, 2015, 09:24:20 PM »
Seen in a national paper column on Friday 4 September

Cut jobsworths not new shows

"Once again we are told the BBC is determined to cut its costs.  How?  By screening more repeats.  Which is quite a gymnastic exercise since, apart from the news, I can't discern much that is not already a repeat.
When I switch on the idiot's  lantern and run through the menu of the first 50 pages of programmes it seems to be a solid phalanx of dirt-cheap junk, so-called "reality" shows (meaning choreographed to the last gesture and an insult to a functioning brain) or repeats right back to Dad's Army (brilliant in its day but now so old it's being made into a film with an entirely new cast  as all but two of the originals have died of old age.
There is a way to cut costs and improve quality but it's called firing 50 per cent of the huge army of jobsworths who clutter the monolith from floor to ceiling".

BBC Management & BBC Trust / Re: BBC to cut 1000 jobs
« on: August 31, 2015, 12:20:21 PM »
Seen in a national paper today (31 August):-

4,000 jobs could go in BBC shake-up

"The BBC could slash thousands of jobs and show more repeats due to cuts in funding.
It is believed director-general Lord Hall, is working on plans that could see 4,000 job losses and the closure of two television or radio networks.
He may also sell 100 million worth of studios and offices and reduce sport coverage.
This is to shoulder the 650 million-a-year cost of funding free licences for the over 75s from 2018.
According to close allies, Lord Hall, who has a 450,000 annual salary, has had to rethink the BBC's approach, to make up for the lack of funding.
But his ideas will officially come to light in a speech on its royal charter a week today when he will respond to the Government's plans to reduce the national deficit.  Plans to axe 1,000 jobs were announced last month, but another 3,000 could be gone by 2020 bringing staff numbers to 15,000.
Yesterday the corporation said: "While it is clear the BBC does have a tough funding settlement and will need to live within its means, we haven't as yet shared  our proposals and people should wait to hear what we have to say rather than what others think we might have to say"

In my opinion, salaries should be slashed from the top downwards and not the other way - because, I bet my bottom dollar, none of the "suits" will lose their jobs! - fact!

Some programmes on Radio Merseyside over the Bank Holiday Weekend are as follows:-

Saturday 29 August: Roger Lyon (11.00 a.m. - 2.00 p.m.); Sunday 30 August: Frankie Connor (11.00 a.m. - 2.00 p.m.); Monday 31 August: Nick Robins (7.00 a.m. - 10.00 a.m.); Roger Lyon (10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.); Frankie Connor (1.00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m.); Ian Kennedy (4.00 p.m. - 7.00 p.m.); Radio Merseyside Special - The Beatles.

Take the opportunity to "tune in" - I am sure you will enjoy them!

BBC Local Radio Board / RAJAR
« on: August 05, 2015, 08:02:54 AM »
RAJAR figures for local radio out today.  I wonder how all the stations will have fared?
Hope people have filled out, either on-line or paper copy the questionnaires from the BBC Trust re: local radio.  Is budgets mustn't be cut any further, but I'm not holding my breath!

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