Heard this morning on Radio 4, that 2015 was the date for the closure of regional and national radio stations on analogue and all radios becoming obsolete.
Radio Today posted the following report:
The second report into the digital switchover from the House of Lords Communications Committee was published this morning.
It emphasised the need for greater clarity in the DAB upgrade plan, and highlights public confusion and industry uncertainty, with calls for every new radio to contain FM, DAB and DAB+.
It also says the government needs to put in place a radio scrappage scheme for old FM radio sets and a fund to help poorer people make the switch.
But the committee has warned there could be a danger of a major public reaction when the radio switchover policy is implemented.
“If the UK is to go ahead with digital switchover, there needs to be the utmost clarity as to what will happen, in order that the consumer and the industry can proceed with confidence.” the report says.
If current plans for 2015 go ahead, between 50 and 100 million analogue radios will become largely redundant and around 20 million car radios will need a converter. “The Government should work with car manufacturers to ensure that digital car radios are fitted with multi-standard chips as soon as possible and inform consumers of availability and benefits of digital radios containing the multi-standard chip.”
The topic was also debated on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, with guests Andrew Harrison from RadioCentre/Digital Radio UK, and the Guardian’s computer editor Jack Schofield.
Andrew explained to presenter John Humphrys why we need to go digital, which was challeneged with the fact that FM radio works perfectly fine at the moment so there is no need to change.
Andrew replied: “We need to go digital because FM is full,” to which Jack said there was no evidence that people are crying out for new radio stations.
Discussing the switchover date of 2015 Jack says: ” It’s not going to happen.”
The full report can be downloaded here.
They also reported on the protest against closure of BBC Six Music
A peaceful protest has taken place outside Broadcasting House on Saturday lunchtime, to help save BBC 6 Music.
Reports suggest anything between 500 and 2000 people were in attendance, with Liz Kershaw kicking things off with a speech about how the BBC Trust could still save the station
Station-playlisted bands Allo Darlin’, Mirrorkicks and The Brute Chorus entertained the crowds during the 90 minute event.
The organisers said, “6 Music promotes new, old and unsigned music and is unequalled by any commercial station. The DJs play music they love for people who love music. This is why we must save it.”
RadioToday.co.uk was at the event and spoke to one of the organisers of the protest, Georgina Rodgers, and asked her what she thought of Mark Thompson’s decision to axe 6 Music:
It’s been a platform for a lot of my friends who are musicians who wouldn’t otherwise get played anywhere else. Also, it’s a radio station I love listening to. I was also angry about the number of jobs that could be lost directly at the BBC and indirectly in the music industry.
How do you think the closure will affect listeners up and down the country?
It’s a great loss. BBC 6 Music is like a friend to us that we’ve invited into our homes. These DJs are voices that we’re all very familiar with and for that to be lost would be tragic. From the amount of people that have turned up today, it’s very obvious that a lot of people are very angry and sad about it.
Why do you think they’re picking on 6 Music to cut costs?
The BBC thought it would be an easy target because it’s a smaller radio station. They say it’s a niche radio station, which I don’t necessarily agree with. I think they might have just thought it was easy because it has fewer listeners than Radio 1 and Radio 2.
What do you hope to achieve from this protest?
What I wanted to do, when I suggested that we have a protest outside Broadcasting House, is to bring the web campaign on Facebook into the real world. I think it’s very easy to say, “Yes, I’ll join this group on Facebook”, (and 170,000 people have done that), but today, I think a couple thousand people turned up to vote with their feet and say: “Yeah, we’re angry about this.. we’re not happy about it. We’re very passionate about this radio station”.
Do you think this protest will really make any difference?
I hope the BBC will take notice of this campaign. I’m a teacher and I’m a member of my union, and I know that union action and protests like this often make a difference. From the media coverage we’re getting from it, I think we’ll get our voices heard. Hopefully they’ll react on that in a positive way.
What’s your response to today’s turnout of supporters?
It’s been amazing. Everybody’s been so positive. We’ve had many volunteers to do the marshalling, and we’ve had people turn up from all over the country: we’ve had people from Manchester and people from Scotland come show their support.
Absolute Classic Rock has re-launched with a new on air brand proposition, new brand identity and online re-launch.
The station now offers the Great British Guarantee, meaning the listener gets the hear British songs at the start of every hour of every day.
The station is championing the likes of Queen, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, David Bowie and The Who, plus Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, Genesis, Cream, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac and The Kinks.
New programmes includes an interview with rock icon Paul Rodgers from Free and Bad Company, and highlights from The Who Live, recorded in Royal Albert Hall.