BBC local radio has made big concessions to corporation acccountants over the last decade. But local radio’s pain isn’t over yet. The suits want another £15 million a year.
BBC bosses have a habit of making ‘salami’ cutbacks instead of grasping the nettle. So, to spare them more anguish, here are a few suggestions. But it’ll take nerve and decisiveness, not characteristics that the Beeb is well known for.
- Vacate all local radio city-centre offices and move to cheap, secure out-of-town premises – farm buildings, if they’re right;
- Reduce by 75% the capital budget of any new local radio installations by doing things more cheaply;
- Encourage more sharing of premises – good job so far;
- Halve the amount spent on BBC local radio ‘group’ management;
- Outsource off-peak production to campus radio and hospital radio and give charities their own airtime;
- Terminate contracts for sports coverage rights – find other ways to cover sport;
- Reduce to 7 centres (London, Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow) the number of premises (in England and Wales and Scotland) ; retain 90% of current brands; close down 10% of the stations (use audience record as the only criterion);
- Find new ways and new technology to deliver localness;
- Make BBC local radio websites commercial.
- Get rid of channel 4x and the Asian Network; 6 too.
G & D required.