Labour politician Tom Watson, who sees himself as something of a down-with-the-kids MP, has flexed his with-it credentials once again by suggesting BBC 6Music should replace BBC Radio 3 on the UK’s FM radio-waves.
Currently, 6Music is only available on digital throughout Britain but, according to Watson, nevertheless attracts more listeners than the classical station Radio 3 gets on both digital and FM combined.
“6 Music is a huge success story for the BBC,” he’s told The Guardian after speaking at the Radio Festival on Monday (October 13th). “They tried to close it down and its audience doubled, they now have more listeners digitally than Radio 3 has got on both digital and the FM network.”
“On those terms, 6 Music should be knocking at the door for that FM slot and they would have an even bigger audience,” he continued. “There are a lot of discriminating music listeners out there, they have built a very powerful brand and a strong offer. The only way they are going to expand is getting an FM slot, and I think it’s worth the BBC considering.”
In 2010 the BBC Trust rejected a proposal from then director general Mark Thompson to shut 6Music down as part of cost cutting measures, and has since gone from strength to strength. In response to Watson’s suggestion though, a spokesperson has said there are no changes afoot.
“We are very proud of both stations and think they are working brilliantly for listeners as they are, so we see no reason to change their broadcast arrangements,” the reply stated.