6Music saved from BBC axe, 'valuable to UK culture'

BBC 6Music granted reprieve by BBC, music fans across the UK celebrating this week
BBC 6Music granted reprieve by BBC, music fans across the UK celebrating this week

BBC 6Music is no longer set to be axed, the BBC revealed today, much to the delight of music fans across the UK who have been concerned about the future of the station since the BBC pegged it for possible closure back in February this year.

It is clearly fantastic news and the many listeners that supported the Save 6Music campaign will no doubt be overjoyed.

"The BBC Trust has rejected plans to close 6Music," said 6Music news this morning.

No case for closure

Responding the the initial the BBC strategy review, BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons said that that a case for a closure of 6 Music has not been made.

However, the BBC Trust has decided to close the Asian Network, teen service Blast!and to slash 25 per cent of the online budget.

In a statement, the Trust said: "The Executive should draw up an overarching strategy for digital radio. If the director general wanted to propose a different shape for the BBC's music radio stations as part of a new strategy, the trust would consider it.

"The trust would consider a formal proposal for the closure of the Asian Network, although this must include a proposition for meeting the needs of the station's audience in different ways."

Valuable to UK culture

David Bowie has said of the proposals to close down 6Music that it "keeps the spirit of broadcasters like John Peel alive and for new artists to lose this station would be a great shame."

BBC 6Music DJ Jarvis Cocker most recently said that the threat of the Sword of Damocles above the head of the employees was unfair. No doubt the Pulp frontman will also be happy to hear that his fellow DJs and producers and all the other employees of 6Music still have jobs, for the foreseeable future.

The BBC added that the BBC Trust had not been convinced by the case for the closure, adding that: "the station plays a very valuable role in the nations cultural life."

The number of BBC 6Music listeners has increased from around 600,000 to a million a week since the news first broke that the station may be up for the axe.

TechRadar has contacted a number of British digital radio manufacturers, including Pure Digital and Roberts Radio, as well as Digital Radio UK and other leading authorities in the digital radio industry for further comment.

Colin Crawford, PURE's director of marketing told TechRadar: "We are delighted that the passion of 6Music listeners has achieved a significant turn around and secured the rescue of such a unique digital radio service. The recent success of the digital radio amnesty also proves that more and more people are tuning into digital in the UK!"

A fully digital future

Jane Ostler, Communications Director of Digital Britain UK, the industry body charged with managing the future of digital radio in the UK, said of the BBC's decision:

"Digital Radio UK welcomes the BBC Trust's initial conclusions to the BBC Strategy Review, and strongly supports the BBC's ongoing work with Government, Digital Radio UK and the commercial radio industry on the development of a plan for digital radio.

"Digital Radio UK notes that the interim conclusions ask for a clear strategy for the BBC's investment in digital radio, and agrees that the BBC has a vital role in promoting digital radio, to ensure a fully digital future."

Tune in! DJs Jarvis, Ms. Laverne and co. are seriously rocking it.

A great day for British music. (Oh and if you are in the market for a digital radio, be sure to get a DAB+ and internet-radio compatible one, by the way!).

Adam Hartley