BBC should not cut costs just to appease commercial radio

Appeasing commercial radio should not be the primary motive for change within the BBC, according to a just released review of BBC Radio. Broadcasting consultant John Myers conducted the three month review of Radios 1, 2 1Xtra and 6 Music as a result of pressure on the BBC to be less commercial. Myers previously reviewed the local commercial radio industry for the government, and was commissioned for this review by the BBC trust.


Myers is most famous for his 2009 comments about Ofcom, telling a conference the UK regulator “had about as much vision as Stevie Wonder,” saying trust between stations and the regulator was very low.

In his earlier commercial radio review he recommended an entirely new philosophy to local radio’s approach, which has since led to the creation of quasi-national stations, the closure of dozens of local heritage stations and the merging of many more. Some were expecting the same from the BBC review, but this has not been the case.


The more compelling reason [for change] must be that a modern BBC aims to deliver its remit by constantly reviewing its operations and seeking out value for money, through working smarter and collectively,” said Meyer in the review. “There is nothing to be gained from reducing program quality or diversity.”


His recommendations concentrate on synergies to deliver cost savings but still preserve the quality of programming. He says he is not trying to “dumb down” the BBC. Meyer was tasked to review the ‘to die for’ budgets of four networks:

He recommends improved coordination between networks, a single tier management structure, and that quality and costs be aligned and defined for staff.


To read the report, click the link below.