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BBC Radio 1 to gut its live music coverage

19 March 2015, 15:50 | Written by Laurence Day

BBC Radio 1 has announced that it will slash the amount of live music it covers from 250 sessions a year to 160.

The decisions have been made in a BBC Trust review, which gave all of the BBC Radio stations a "clean bill of health".

The station has agreed to meet the quotas, and will not challenge the ruling. In a statement, the BBC Trust said:

"We expect Radio 1 to maintain a range of genres and artists within its sessions, including a mix of established and newer artists. We are also narrowing Radio 1's quota for coverage of major live events and festivals so that it excludes special editions of live sessions, and includes only BBC and third-party live events. It will reduce from 25 to 10 events."

It is presumed that the cutbacks will affect, primarily, late night programming and "off-site broadcasts" - i.e. concerts and festivals not linked to the BBC.

These changes have been made despite research proving that these segments are among the network's most popular.

Other changes due to be enforced are:

  • "Radio 3 should minimise similarities with other classical music stations."
  • "Radio 1 should do more to promote its advice programme and social action documentaries during daytime."
  • "The number of new dramas on Radio 3 will be reduced from 25 to 20."
  • "More documentaries should be shared between Radio 1 and its sister station 1Xtra."
  • "A quota will be introduced to safeguard the amount of news and current affairs on Asian Network."
  • "BBC radio should continue to develop its online strategy."
  • "A fresh definition should be found for "new" music, as release dates become increasingly unclear in the online era. There should also be greater differentiation between new releases by established acts and newcomers."

[via BBC]

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