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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw BBC Radio coverage Folk (15) RE: BBC Radio coverage Folk 08 Aug 07

THis is all par for the course, and indicative of the general trends in broadcasting over the past years

Between 1983 and 1993, I used to do the folk programme on what was then Mercia Sound (now Mercia FM) in Coventry. Even though I say so myself, it was very popular, and the audience figures were always very healthy. At one time, according to the official figures, the prog attracted around 50,000 listeners - a number only surpassed by one other slot on the station - that being the drivetime show at teatime.

However, Mercia was swallowed up by one of the big broadcasting megaliths, and my prog was chopped along with all the other so-called specialist shows. I had a meeting with the then Programme Controller, Stuart Linnell, who said that, and I quote, "These people who make these decisions have absolutely no interest in music in general, and don't know what folk music is at all. They are only interested in selling advertising and making a profit. If they could get away with broadcasting a test signal 24 hours a day, and STILL sell the ads, they would!" Says it all really.

I still got the chop, and so did he shortly afterwards.

OK, you might say, but that is the world of commercial radio. But it seems that the Beeb runs by the same rules these days. The people who make the decisions have no interest in, and don't understand, folk, jazz or any other specialist genre (although they DO understand classical music). Rock will always do OK, because the big record companies are a powerful lobby group.

As Stuart also said at the time, "If you want folk music on the radio, the only way you are going to get it is to run your own radio station". Unfortunately, not easy as Radio Britfolk knows only too well.

But wait a minute, isn't the Beeb OUR radio station? We fund it, and we should be fairly represented in the total mix. After all, more people go to folk festivals each year than the total of ALL the other genres put together (and that includes Glasto et al).On that basis, folk music should be the predominant genre, with maybe the odd jazz or classical track thrown in occasionally for good measure!!!

It's a thought. Make a noise. Protest. Write songs about it.

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