Saturday, June 07, 2014

Radio 1 launches cull that Owen Paterson might think a bit much

There's been the sort of cull of Radio 1 presenters which, in the past, would have triggered a thousand 'whither pop radio' think pieces but seems to have slipped by without much comment at all.

There's some big names going, too:

BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra are to axe DJs including Edith Bowman, Rob Da Bank and Nihal in a schedule shake-up driven by the need to cut costs.

Controller Ben Cooper admitted that the cull of presenters – which includes Mike Davies, Jen Long, Ally McCrae, CJ Beatz, Crissy Criss and Robbo Ranx – have been driven by cuts across the corporation introduced after the last licence fee settlement.
This boils down mostly to Huw Stephens being asked to pick up a lot of the slack, with him getting a programme that sounds a bit like Colin Murray's post-Zane Lowe slot.

Da Bank going is something of a hit; and in terms of losing interesting people do worthwhile things, Davies' punk show has been a quiet gem in the Radio 1 schedule.

Difficult times at the BBC, of course, but it's a pity that the savings are coming at the cost of the diversity which makes Radio 1 worth keeping.


Simon said...

It's interesting that the Rock Show is getting a Sunday after-the-charts slot (thus depositing the station's only comedy show into an hour on a Tuesday) but the Punk Show is being dropped entirely, and the Introducing slot is being taken off Sunday nights and deposited after midnight in the week in a regionalised form, kicking the two specialist Introducing presenters down the road as they do so. Wasn't Introducing supposed to be one of Radio 1's strong points?

Also Annie Nightingale has ended up at 1am on Wednesday mornings, which isn't quite the undignified demotion of Bob Harris at 3am but is still no way to treat that sort of asset.

Robin Carmody said...

Maybe, but she was in an even more graveyard shift for years beforehand. iPlayer kind of transcends all that now I think.

Speculation: the lack of broadsheet thinkpieces about this (certainly compared to when 6Music was almost chopped) has to do with the fact that the presenters being dropped aren't part of the new establishment in the way they might have been in the past.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Simon: Introducing has all the hallmarks of one of those pan-BBC projects which end up hung out to dry the moment the executive who thought of them moves on.

Agree about Annie Nightingale - she's inherited the Peel position of 'lauded when it's useful, treated terribly when nobody's looking'

Robin: That's partly true, but also probably in part down to the axed presenters being (mostly) specialists - important to their audience, but without the same name recognition/broad support

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