The BBC Trust has reportedly rejected plans to close digital station 6Music following a massive public response to the proposal.
The Trust’s chairman Sir Michael Lyons has said the case for the station’s closure had not been made sufficiently in his initial response, and also stated that the Trust would only consider closing 6Music as part of a larger re-structuring of digital radio.
In a statement released in conjunction with the BBC’s Annual Report, the Trust said: “The Trust concludes that, as things stand, the case has not been made for the closure of 6 Music. The Executive should draw up an overarching strategy for digital radio. If the director general wanted to propose a different shape for the BBC’s music radio stations as part of a new strategy, the trust would consider it. The trust would consider a formal proposal for the closure of the Asian Network, although this must include a proposition for meeting the needs of the station’s audience in different ways.”
BBC Director General Mark Thompson first announced the plans in February, citing cost-cutting as one of the primary reasons, but needed the approval of the BBC Trust before the ideas could be put in to practise. A Facebook campaign launched shortly after the proposals were made public has now attracted close to 180,000 members, while high-profile protests involving fans, musicians, and DJs also added pressure on the Trust to rule against closing the station.
Head of Bella Union label Simon Raymonde praised the decision and thanked fans for their support: “To all those thousands of people who wrote letters, signed petitions and joined protests, to the members of the Trust, we must say that today is a victory for common sense.”
Since February, 6Music has enjoyed a huge increase in listenership and has attracted figures of over 1 million.Just Published: