Friday, March 12, 2010

6Music: Planet Rock offers berth to Bruce Dickinson

I mentioned in the comments how the decision to axe Bruce Dickinson's rock show from 6Music looks a little fishy. In terms of the 6Music playlist, it's an outlier, and presumably brings in a different audience. So, if you were looking for a way to reduce a station's reach figures, in order to help justify closing the network, axing such a programme would make sense.

There's good news for the fans of the show, though: Mark Bluemel is hoping to bring Dickinson to Planet Rock.

So, does this at least prove the two Thompson's claims that closing 6Music is a good thing for the commercial radio sector?

Erm... no:

Bluemel, who rescued Planet Rock after its former owner GCap Media said it was going to close the station, said he was "disappointed" at the prospect of 6 Music's demise.

"It's not a good thing for digital radio to have it close," said Bluemel, whose station has an average weekly reach of 698,000 listeners, marginally ahead of 6 Music, which had 695,000 in the last three months of 2009.

He does complain about the costs of the station:
[H]e described the station's annual budget of £9m in 2008-2009, including £6.5m on content, as "ridiculous".

"We could run the station on a quarter of that budget. There is no reason to kill 6 Music. They should just kill some of the cost. It is a ridiculous amount of money to run a station that size," Bluemel said.

Well, yes. If you're primarily playing records and have a few presenters, you could run the station for a lot less. But a couple of sessions every day, presenters operating out of at least two cities, a dedicated news operation... if you cut the 6Music budget to the level of Planet Rock, you'd wind up with a totally different station.


Anonymous said...

The news is an interesting point, though. Surely a single national news bulletin could be put out across Radios 2, 3, 5, 7 and all the local stations? The BBC are simply duplicating the same thing.

How often do you see a story in your area that makes the national news and so has several BBC people in the same place, making the same report for local TV, national TV and numerous radio stations?

Radios 1 and 4 have audiences that expect and need something specific from their news bulletins, but there's no reason why 6Music needs a dedicated news bulletin outside of their excellent music news.

Jim W said...

On the news: have you really ever gained a whole lot for the separate three 'music news' stories (with their own newsreader/presenter) pushing a few sound bites from confused bands saying how excited they are about x/y/z.

Not exactly going to save the station, though.

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