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Messages - darcysarto

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1
Whatever the outcome, they've had another £750m removed from their funding plus another £80m going to local newspapers, some can frame the white paper as a climb down by Whittingdale but the Tories have now taken around 1.25bn from the BBC is successive licence fee settlements.  It could have been worse but certainly doesn't look good.

2
It's been a while since I've posted but there you go.

Two pieces today in the Guardian and Telegraph suggest that the previously mooted scraping of local radio programmes outside of Breakfast and Drive are back on the agenda at the BBC.  The recent covert licence fee deal has left the BBC needing to save another £500m.  Yes Tony Hall did say it was a good deal.

The John Plunkett's piece on Iain Lee mentions it and Patrick Foster also picks up on it in the Telegraph.

There's nothing concrete in there but given they tried to get away with it before when they didn't really need to..

Worth pointing out for anyone who doesn't know, local radio is in the News division of the BBC.

Meanwhile, Tony Hall - here he is looking serious - has been speaking today..



..warning of the threat to the BBC's independence - no really.

Whilst in a bizarre looking glass moment Culture Secretary John Whittingdale took it upon himself to comment on what he sees as one of the BBC's priorities

The politician said news should be an 'absolute core central activity of the BBC, and it should be a priority'.

'There are savings within the BBC that don't require them to slash news budgets or close a channel', he said, adding 'news is not the first place they should look, in many ways it should be the last place'.


Everything as clear as mud as usual, anyone got a lasso?

3
BBC Management & BBC Trust / Death By A Thousand Cuts Part II
« on: December 21, 2015, 02:01:08 PM »
The Grauniad reports the BBC has hired a firm chaired by Gus O'Donnell to 'get over' the issue of having taken on responsibility of the free-for-over-75's licence fee.

'We want to explore the options, in particular on how voluntary payments might work,' said a BBC source. 'It’s early days, this work is only just beginning.'

Well, it would of course be churlish to suggest you tell people they have to pay and then either they do, or they don't.  But quite honestly, that's how it would work.  I imagine this isn't cheap?

4
BBC Management & BBC Trust / Death By A Thousand Cuts Part I
« on: December 21, 2015, 01:53:42 PM »
The BBC announced today it is <a href= "http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35149963">cancelling it's coverage of Formula One Motor Racing from next season[/url].

A full explanation can be found on this BBC blog here.  The point is, they don't have the money to pay for it.  The comments are quite interesting, plenty of disenchantment unsurprisingly, people wondering why the Boat Race and London Marathon coverage continues plus plenty of other valid viewpoints.

Key to this I suspect is that it probably isn't a) cheap and b) with Channel 4 having stepped into the breach Ecclestone is doesn't need to hold the corporation to contract or sue the pants off them.

5
Radio 4 / You Are The Programme, Thank You - James Naughtie Signs Off
« on: December 16, 2015, 10:12:22 PM »
Mornings won't be the same without his Scottish lilt, his poetic way with words, his errant time checks and his sometimes rambling questions.  Despite telling me it was 6.30 at 7.30, losing John Major halfway through his last 10 past 8, James Naughtie made it through his last Today programme moved but intact, expect many were also moved by his final words.


6
BBC Local Radio Board / Re: Radio Merseyside
« on: October 28, 2015, 07:56:40 PM »
Hi Rita, thanks so much for this, I've clipped it and save it for prosperity below as it will disappear from the iPlayer at some point.  I've not heard it all, just the beginning.  Thought it was interesting that Sue Owen mentions that she effectively has her own gathering of listeners from who she takes opinions on the output, one can only assume it's effective what with the success of the station.


7
The BBC Trust consultation on BBC Local Radio and Local News and Current Affairs in England closes tomorrow, so this is a reminder that if you haven't 'had your say' you haven't got long.

I'm thankful to the BBC Trust for posting here on the forum, it's always good to see them attempting to widen the scope of their engagement - will this mean they top the number of consultation returns they had last time?  You'd have to hope so, or something is wrong somewhere..  It's also of concern that as shown by my questions previously on this thread the lack of engagement when it comes to accountability for the decisions made on the basis of previous consultations, perhaps with increase in the size of the BBC's ears in the run up to Charter Renewal it will become a more open and engaging public broadcaster, I'm willing to err on the side of optimism.

The consultation can be found here: https://consultations.external.bbc.co.uk/bbc/local-radio-news-current-affairs

8
BBC Management & BBC Trust / Re: Life Without The BBC
« on: August 25, 2015, 09:15:39 PM »
Astonishingly some of these people didn't realise their licence fee also pays for BBC Radio.. where on earth did they think it was coming from?

Conversely, I can't quite believe that it goes towards paying for things like this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-34048459 - journalism apparently..

9
BBC Management & BBC Trust / Life Without The BBC
« on: August 25, 2015, 09:10:42 PM »
The BBC has published the results of an experiment/research in which 70 households from different areas, with differing views of BBC output, went without the BBC for just over a week.

Astonishingly some of these people didn't realise their licence fee also pays for BBC Radio.. where on earth did they think it was coming from?

The full report can be found here: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/reports/pdf/lifewithoutthebbc.pdf

The 70 households in the research – from 15 locations across the UK – comprised those that initially said, given the choice, they would:
 prefer to pay nothing and not receive the BBC (x 24) – reflective of 12% of all UK households
 only pay less than the current licence fee for the current BBC (x 24) – reflective of 16% of all UK households
 be willing to pay the full licence fee or more (x 22) – reflective of 69% of all UK households.


Here's a few of the things they had to say about Radio.

The households that changed their minds often also found BBC Radio hard to replace. They were especially frustrated at the high volume of advertising on commercial stations.  As the BBC station with the highest reach, the most missed BBC Radio station was Radio 2. In particular this was missed by older, regular listeners and those with long car journeys. These audiences admitted that they under appreciated the quality of the station’s talent, in particular during commuting hours. They missed their regular shows, the music mix within them and the features and familiarity of the voices on air. Despite trying numerous alternatives, audiences felt that they were unable to find content of the quality they enjoyed on Radio 2.

Radio 4 was especially difficult for audiences who listened to this to replace, in particular the 'Today' programme. These respondents cited a lack of credible commercial speech radio alternatives, to the extent where they no longer listened to talk radio during the task period.

BBC Radio 5live could be replaced to a certain extent by TalkSPORT for sports news and information, but audiences still missed 5live's tone of news and sports coverage. As a substitute, TalkSPORT was not felt by these households to deliver the same calibre of discussion, debate and insight.

BBC Local Radio (relevant to their area) was also missed owing to the mix of localised news,  weather, traffic and sport live commentaries. Often audiences relied on this information to plan their days / journeys and without it were forced to seek other methods of finding this, which they found difficult to do – especially to the level of detail (and reliability) that the BBC Local Radio
station provided them with.

BBC Asian Network was missed by some of the BAME households because they enjoyed the mix of music and news from Asian communities without interruptions. Typically, they had to go online to replace this (news especially).

Finally, the young er audiences who missed BBC Radio 1 did so because of specific DJs they tune  in for as well as the ability to hear the latest music and new music not confined to the charts. Also audiences commented how they relied on the station to create or fit their mood at certain times of the day or week, for example getting ready for a night out on a weekend. The younger audiences replaced Radio 1 with commercial alternatives, their own music system or by using streaming services or YouTube. Although they were more accepting of the commercials, they still valued the advert-free nature of Radio 1 and missed the ability to have a single station that they did not have to keep re-tuning when adverts came on.

10
The Afternoon Play / Re: Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell
« on: August 25, 2015, 08:47:13 PM »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b065rn7t

Brilliant.

That is all.


Thanks for the recommendation Albert, I've been out of the country and snowed under at work so will try a bit of catch-up.

11
BBC Local Radio Board / Re: Are we really this short of ideas??
« on: August 16, 2015, 03:49:01 PM »
The past is a local radio network obsession, i particularly enjoyed this attempt by one Breakfast presenter..



Could the answer possibly be better local radio??

12
BBC Local Radio Board / BBC Solent Re: Alex Dyke programme
« on: August 16, 2015, 03:44:11 PM »
Oops! Radio Today reports that BBC Radio Solent’s mid-morning presenter Alex Dyke has been suspended following “unacceptable comments” made on-air on Wednesday. They continue: "Alex was discussing breastfeeding in public and said it was unnatural and must be stopped". A petition has since been launched to remove him from the radio and the BBC has issued a statement saying:

“Following unacceptable comments made on air yesterday, Alex Dyke has been suspended pending an investigation, so he will not be on air tomorrow.” Further details here: http://radiotoday.co.uk/2015/08/alex-dyke-suspended-from-bbc-radio-solent/

Is it some kind of prerequisite that mid-morning BBC local radio shows feel the urge to court controversy (or seek cheap publicity) like this? This isn't the first time a misguided middle-aged male has made a right boob of himself when discussing breast-feeding, exposing himself to far greater ridicule than any woman who's innocently caring for her new-born. But it seems like the BBC doesn't consider us adult enough to make up our own minds though, as the "offending" show has curiously disappeared from i-player.


Hi North.  A peculiar line to take to remove the audio, from the clips I heard he got it rightly in the neck from a few listeners and was reduced to making rather personal offensive remarks about one lady, leave it online, perhaps it may teach him something.   As John Myers says Dyke would have had a Producer and   Editor who must have been aware of what was going out over the airwaves, would love to know what they were thinking in allowing him to do it.

It certainly beats 'Guess the Year' as an engaging topic!  Although from the topic itself you wouldn't guess we are living in 2015.

13
Hi Darcy, I can only remark on my local BBC station "BBC London", over the past year it seems to me they are playing far too much music.
Programs where before only a few tracks was once played and the emphasis was on guests and information is now given over to music.
This I find quite annoying only because the music played comes from a limited play-list that's played over and over again.

I think the increase in music is only to keep finances down and its too easy to fill a show with music and not to have guests in the studio.
The weekends are worse with some shows, to the extent that I tend to tune away and listen to other stations. I know some listeners enjoy the music played but I would sooner listen to my music on my own electronic devices and not to be dictated to listen to something the BBC wants me to hear.


Mel, you make an excellent point.  Until they decided to um, Deliver Quality First, Radio London had escaped to morbidity of the dreaded playlist and perhaps now the opportunity to take it out into field and put it out of it's misery will be used as cover to reduce speech programmes further and pump out more music.  Who knows?  As you say, it's cheaper and nothing would surprise me.

I'm still waiting for the man from the BBC Trust to answer my question about the playlist in this other thread: http://www.bbcradioforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1363 as usual it looks like the BBC Trust and those they oversee are not completely aware of what's actually going on.  Who'd a thunk it?

14
Whilst it was impossible it would seem for Lord Tony Hall, George Osborne, John Whittingdale and Rona Fairhead to include any of the Great Unwashed in the recent outrageous covert deal covering the latest licence fee settlement, there are no less than 4 public consultations to get involved with concerning the future of the BBC.

We should make no mistake, cuts are going to happen.  Cuts arising from DQF and the last covert deal have still yet to be completed and with somewhere between another 10-20% in light of the latest, um 'deal' things are going to be for the chop. 

That said, it's still important for people to get involved, as Tony Hall only recently remembered, the BBC does indeed belong to the people of the country, so the more who use their voice the better.  So what do you want to keep?  What's important to you and the nation?  Would you like a more independent BBC, a more accountable one??  Then tell 'em...

First off is the Tories Green Paper, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/445704/BBC_Charter_Review_Consultation_WEB.pdf

And the associated Survey which can be found here: https://jfe.qualtrics.com/form/SV_eR0WGwjy32ku0TP

All the links can be seen here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/bbc-charter-review-public-consultation

Secondly, the BBC Trust has launched it's response to the Green Paper here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/news/press_releases/2015/tomorrows_bbc

Along with it's own consultation in which it requests the public's opinion as to what they wish the BBC to be in the future, take part here: https://consultations.external.bbc.co.uk/bbc/tomorrows-bbc

Thirdly - The House of Lords Communications Select Committee.

Scope of the inquiry
The Committee is to conduct an inquiry into the public purposes of the BBC and the mechanism by which the licence fee is set. The current BBC Royal Charter expires at the end of 2016. While the formal process of Charter Renewal has yet to begin, the report published by the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee entitled The Future of the BBC has laid out many of the key issues and conflicting perspectives. The intention of this inquiry is not to cover the same ground as that report but to look in detail at two specific areas of the BBC: what should the public purposes of the BBC be, and who should set the level of the licence fee?


Make a submission at the link below.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/communications-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/bbc-charter-renewal/

Finally, the Culture Media and Sport select committee are running their own Inquiry in BBC Charter Review, unfortunately the site seems very slow tonight so if you want more info, try the link below

http://www.parliament.uk/cmscom

15
Are They Finally Putting The Local Radio Playlist Out Of It's/Our Misery?

Can it really be true?  No more Hungry Eyes??

Discussed as part of the upcoming changes to the BBC local radio network in the latest Radio Today podcast between Trevor Dann and Rod McKenzie, they certainly hint that the play list has finally had it's day!  Have a listen, see what you think.

https://audioboom.com/boos/3395983-the-radio-today-programme-july-22nd-2015


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