Bye bye BBC 6 Music and half of the BBC website – it was always going to happen

In case you haven’t seen it the BBC’s plans have been leaked to the Times this morning http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article…

I am gutted about 6 Music. It is the only music station I listen to and will miss it like crazy, especially Maconie’s Freak Zone. It does seem odd that the beeb is keeping stations that have clear commerical rivals like Radio 1 and 2, but is ditching a station that is unique.

Ultimately though the BBC shouldn’t have launched 6 in the first place. It is a symbol of a corporation drunk on its power, finance and influence and run by people who know little about commerical realities of running media companies and who think that the UK media begins and ends in Shepherd’s Bush.

As for the website I think the BBC could have avoided having to make such swingeing cuts by being a little more accomodating of its rivals earlier on. It took an age for the BBC site to start linking to its rivals and even now it seems happy to poach stories from other websites and blogs without giving them any credit.

This country needs a strong independent public broadcaster, but it does need to focus on the things that are important like news radio and quality TV.

I feel very sorry for BBC employees who will lose their jobs, but if they want someone to blame they should look no further than Mark Thompson whose condescending and ill informed remarks about the rest of the media wound Murdoch and co up so much that it was inevitable they would insist on take their pound of flesh. It is probably better that they BBC does this now. After the election, especially if the Tories win, those cuts would have been much deeper. The Times argues that the restructuring needs to go much further and that by using 6 Music as a sacrificial lamb it might avoid further cuts.They still might.

The big pay off in the commnent piece in the paper is this…

The BBC ought to be a creative force for entrepreneurship. In reality it stifles innovation. It has planned to expand local news services when local papers are struggling to survive. It has taken business away from educational and magazine publishers. Its websites, which may seem like a handy and innocuous extension of its news-gathering, have destroyed jobs, livelihoods and creativity by dumping free content on to markets where its rivals have no public subsidy. Paying some staff at a premium to the commercial sector has raised costs across the industry.

The BBC is insulated from commercial concerns by a guaranteed £3.6 billion stipend in the form of the licence fee. It should not be using that to make life hard for commercial rivals.

Ouch

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