03.03.2010

“Quality not quantity”….It’s bad news for staff at the BBC, but will the corporation’s radical shake-up open doors for its competitors?

The BBC has announced some of its national radio stations, online outputs and digital TV channels may be for the chop. BBC 6 Music and its Asian network are to be taken off the airwaves by the end of next year and BBC online may also be slashed in half by 2013.

Director General Mark Thompson told his staff that quality, not quantity, is the aim of the game – all part of a major strategy review that’s been billed the biggest shake-up in the organisation’s 88-year history.

It’s depressing news for staff at the beeb. The Union says up to 600 jobs are in jeopardy. Many journalists now have to sit and wait to see if their days at Television Centre are numbered.

But what about this talk of “making “fewer things better?” Well, if it goes to plan £600 million will be plunged into higher calibre programme-making. BBC local radio has been told to improve “its quality and originality,” with more investment in local journalism. Nationally, BBC 1 and 2 will be given more cash to grow. While on the web, the BBC will have to provide more links to the pages of rival publishers.

The landscape of the corporation is changing dramatically, and so will the way it works with those outside the walls at White City.

As a TV and Radio Producer, I know first hand that the BBC can be a hard nut to crack when it comes to getting stories on air or online. I consider the quality of much of the beeb’s output to be high already. If more quality is what it’s after, PR professionals will have to follow suit and work even harder to deliver just that.

On the other hand, now may be the time for outlets like ITV and Channel 4 and various other news websites to shine. If that’s the case, more doors may open, and with it, the potential for more PR opportunities in the future.

TimesTimes | Big, bloated and cunning
GuardianAlastair Harper | Guardian | Why everyone wants to #saveBBC6music
Pop justicePopjustice | Why a sad day for 6Music could also be a sad day for Radio 1
GuardianJohnny Dee | Guardian | BBC 6 Music: axing the station would be massive mistake
First PostJonathan Harwood | First Post | Axe ‘commercial’ Radio 1, not 6Music, fans tell BBC
No Rock & Roll FunSimon Hayes Budgen | No Rock And Roll Fun | 6 Music back on Death Row

Post by Tessa Parry-Wingfield (Producer for TNR Communications)

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