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All posts by Danny Withington

Below are all of Danny Withington's postings, with the most recent are at the bottom of the page.

I've long been of the view that having all 40 local BBC radio stations broadcasting separate programming outside of the peak hours could be cut back. For example, combining Radio Merseyside, Manchester & Lancashire for 3 hours in the middle of the day would save 41 broadcasting hours a week, 168 broadcasting hours a month and 1092 broadcasting hours a year. It's a lot less drastic than the plans to replace daytime output with 5live and would still retain a certain amount of local/regional programming. If this was done throughout the local BBC radio network, the savings would not be insignificant.

As for MW & LW transmissions; due to the nature of the terrain within the remit of some local radio stations, FM & DAB will probably never gain the coverage AM currently does, and in these circumstances, AM transmissions should be retained. However, for stations such as Radio Merseyside that are more than adequately covered by FM & DAB, removal of the MW service would cause little (if no) disruption to listeners within the editorial area. Those outside of the editorial area always have the option of the iPlayer if they wish to listen to a show on another station. (source - Merseyside and Liverpool Coverage Area Maps )

Programme sharing within Radio1 & 1Xtra is something that already happens, but perhaps programme sharing between Radio2 & 6Music is something that could be investigated. After all some of their programmes aren't that dissimilar.

One option I do disagree with, is the combining of Radios Cymru & Wales and Scotland & NanGaedheal. As a Welsh speaker, I regularly tune in to Radio Cymru, knowing that I'm going to be able to listen to programming in the Welsh Language (with the exception of overnight, of course). People who don't speak Welsh can tune into Radio Wales, and know that they'll be able to listen in a language they understand. Combining the two radio stations will, in my opinion, be the nail in the coffin, as the frequent switching between languages will cause listeners to elsewhere. A similar case could be put forward for the merging of Radio3 and Radio4.

Having said this, kudos to the BBC for coming up with these options. It's clearly a hard task to maintain such a vast and quality radio network with a 22% cut in funding.

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