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First Cuts are Deepest at Radio 1

BBC Radio 1 is set to dramatically reduce the number of live sessions and coverage of live events as part of a review conducted by the BBC Trust.

The trust, which is the BBC’s governing body has issued a series of recommended changes to the output of Radio 1 and various other stations including Radio 2, 1Extra, Radio 3, 6 Music and the Asian Network. As a result, live sessions broadcast on Radio 1 will decrease from 250 to 160 each year, whilst coverage of major live events including festivals will drop from 25 to 10.

The report is based on the responses of a survey of 2,900 license fee payers carried out at the end of 2014, alongside input from industry and stakeholder organisations. The emphasis is on cost savings and engaging more with the music industry and commercial radio, stating: “As the current definition of new music is becoming invalid, it is important that the BBC works with the music industry to find the most appropriate way of measuring new music on the BBC”.

As reported by Music Week, the Musicians’ Union has already expressed concerns about the cuts, with General Secretary John Smith saying: “Without the BBC’s commitment to live music, the public would have virtually no opportunity to experience it on broadcast media and the MU believes that Radio 1 must remain distinct from the offer made by commercial broadcasters – namely by maintaining its coverage of live music”.

All of this begs the question as to why the BBC felt the need to launch a fairly insular, (presumably) incredibly expensive and superfluous awards show at the end of last year.

You can read the entire report here.

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