It's great that Tom Watson is such a strong supporter of 6Music, but his calls for the BBC to move the network to FM, booting Radio 3 to digital only, are flawed:
Watson said: “It does strike me if the Radio 3 audience continues to diminish and 6 Music continues to grow its audience, the BBC should seriously consider it, they must put it on their agenda.Maybe worth considering, but much more worth rejecting.
“6 Music is a huge success story for the BBC. They tried to close it down and its audience doubled, they now have more listeners digitally than Radio 3 has got on both digital and the FM network.
“On those terms 6 Music should be knocking at the door for that FM slot and they would have an even bigger audience [on FM]. There are a lot of discriminating music listeners out there, they have built a very powerful brand and a strong offer. They only way they are going to expand is getting an FM slot and I think it’s worth the BBC considering.”
Part of the original reason for the existence of 6Music was to help drive digital listening - something that it's done rather well. Moving it across to analogue wouldn't really help with that.
Given there's a hope that the FM and AM radiospace can be handed over to other services in the not-too-distant future, any tenancy on FM would be short-lived anyway.
The idea that 6 can only grow by transferring to FM is flawed, given that it's still growing its audience on digital.
And then there's the question of what would happen to Radio 3 if it shifted to digital-only. It already has a fragile audience; even if you generously assume that half its listeners transfer across to find it - and that we can put up with the resultant drone of audiophiles complaining about sound quality on DAB forever - that low level of audience would appear to be incompatible with the current level of funding Radio 3 receives. So while Tom Watson might say he's not calling for Radio 3 to be closed down, that would effectively be the effect of moving it across before we're at the stage of analogue radio switch-off. (How it will thrive after that, of course, is another question.)